Australia polish off easy target after Starc sets up one-day win
Australia have needed just 11 overs to polish off the 118 runs needed to beat India in the second one-day international and level the ledger 1-1 going into the series decider on Wednesday.
A Mitchell Starc masterclass and a classic slips catch from Steve Smith helped Australia skittle India for just 117 at Vizag before Travis Head (51) and Mitch Marsh (66) guided the visitors home for a 10-wicket win.
Easy does it: Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh polish off the 118 runs.Credit:Getty Images
Starc claimed 5-53 off eight overs to snare the ninth five-wicket haul of his ODI career.
Sean Abbott (3-23) and Nathan Ellis (2-13) continued the carnage, with India’s innings lasting just 26 overs after Smith won the toss and elected to bowl.
Virat Kohli (31) top-scored for his side, with Axar Patel (29no) the only other batter to put up any fight.
It was India’s third-lowest ODI total against Australia, behind 63 at the SCG in 1981, and 100 at the same ground in 2000.
Mitchell Starc celebrates taking the wicket of Suryakumar Yadav in game two of the one-day series between India and Australia in Vizag.Credit:Getty Images
It was also India’s fourth-lowest total in ODIs in India against all comers.
The highlight of Sunday’s innings belonged to Smith, who dived full length to his right at first slip to pull off a stunning one-handed catch to send Hardik Pandya packing for one.
Smith was in the air and horizontal when he took the catch, and the stand-in skipper was mobbed by his teammates in the aftermath.
Starc showed his class in Australia’s series-opening loss on Friday when he snared three early wickets. He was even more devastating in game two.
An ecstatic Australian side after claiming the wicket of Virat Kohli.Credit:AP
The left-armer started the destruction in the opening over by tempting Shubman Gill (0) into a loose shot, with Marnus Labuschagne gobbling up the catch at backward point.
Smith gave Starc his second wicket with a juggling effort at slip to dismiss Rohit Sharma for 13.
And when Suryakumar Yadav was dismissed lbw by Starc for a golden duck for the second straight match, the Australian pace ace was on a hat-trick.
KL Rahul blocked out the hat-trick ball, but was trapped in front by Starc a short time later, reducing India to 4-48.
Smith’s stunner at slip – off the bowling of Sean Abbott – made it 5-49, and Ellis snared the prized scalps of Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja (16) as India crashed to 7-91 in the 20th over.
Starc was struck for consecutive sixes by Patel when he returned for another spell but finished the innings by bowling Mohammed Siraj.
Only Waqar Younis (13) and Muttiah Muralitharan (10) have more five-wicket hauls in ODI cricket than Starc’s nine.
The visitors needed to win to stay alive in the three-match series after India won the opener by five wickets on Friday night.
David Warner missed selection due to a corked quad. Warner suffered a concussion and a hairline fracture in his elbow during the second Test of the recent 2-1 series loss to India.
The 36-year-old was slated to play games two and three in the ODI series against India, but the corked quad ruled him out of the second fixture.
It remains to be seen whether he features in the final game of the series on Wednesday.
Australia made two changes to the team that struggled in making 188 on Friday.
Wicketkeeper Alex Carey returned after recovering from illness, with Josh Inglis forced to make way.
Glenn Maxwell was dropped to add an extra pace option, with Nathan Ellis earning the nod.
Ashton Agar was again named 12th man, continuing a frustrating run for the spinner following his selection snub during the Test series.
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