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ICC Cricket World Cup: KL-Kohli help India to 6 wicket win over Australia after initial pace scare

CHENNAI: An icey and calm partnership between Virat Kohli and KL Rahul helped India manage to secure a six-wicket victory over Australia at Chennai's Chepauk stadium to kickstart their ICC Cricket World Cup campaign with a win.

Chasing 200, India was off to a nightmarish start as they lost the opener Ishan Kishan for a golden duck to left-arm quick Mitchell Starc after being caught at slips by Cameron Green in the first over. In the next over, India received a double jolt from Josh Hazlewood, as he removed skipper Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer for ducks too. India was 2/3 in 2 overs and in deep trouble.

Similar scenes of despair and losing quick wickets in starting overs during big matches were once again playing for India. But the duo of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul displayed the composure required for such a scenario. Run by run, ball by ball, they rebuild the innings.

At the end of the first powerplay, India was 27/3, with KL (7*) and Virat (17*) unbeaten. Both batters were not taking much risks and mostly dealt in singles and doubles.

In the 15th over, Virat flicked Cameron Green for two successive fours. India reached the 50-run mark in 15.2 overs.

KL also let his hands loose, smashing Adam Zampa for three classy boundaries in the 18th over, taking India to 69/3 at that point.

At the end of 20 overs, India was 80/3, with KL (39*) and Virat (38*) unbeaten and bringing back India into the match.

India reached the 100-run mark in 25.3 overs and Virat as well, reached his 67th fifty in ODIs. His fifty came in 75 balls.

KL also reached his 16th ODI fifty in 72 balls.

The duo brought their 100-run stand in 146 balls.

Virat-KL continued to pile up runs, essentially snatching the game from the Aussies.

150-up for India in 34.4 overs, with Virat (79*) and KL (64*) unbeaten.

Virat-KL brought up their 150-run stand in 200 balls.

Kohli pulled but was caught by Labuschagne at midwicket. Hazlewood got his third wicket. Kohli was out for 85 in 116 balls with six fours. India was 167/3 in 37.4 overs. A 165-run stand between KL and Kohli was broken.

KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya then unleashed some fours and sixes, bringing India near a win. KL hit the winning six, finishing off in style, India finished at 201/4 in 41.2 overs, with KL (97* in 115 balls with eight fours and two sixes) and Hardik Pandya (11*) unbeaten.

Hazlewood (3/38) was the pick of the bowlers for Australia.

Earlier, Indian spinner Ravindra Jadeja delivered an outstanding performance, restricting the Australian batting lineup to a total of 199 runs on Sunday.

In the initial innings, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh formed an opening partnership for Australia but managed to score only five runs together. This was primarily due to Jasprit Bumrah's early breakthrough, dismissing Marsh in just 2.2 overs.

The right-handed batsman faced six balls and failed to score a single run.

In the first powerplay, Warner led the Aussie batting lineup and helped them to score 43 runs.

Australia reached the 50-run mark in the 10.4 overs. The left-handed batsman Warner started the inning well and scored 41 runs from 52 balls with a strike rate of 78.85 untill start Indian spinner Kuldeep Yadav dismissed him at the 16.3 over.

Australia crossed the 100-run mark after playing 145 balls in 24.1 overs.

Just when Smith and Marnus Labuschagne started building up a solid partnership, Ravindra Jadeja picked up his first wicket of the match and dismissed Smith at 46 runs in the 27.1 overs, when Australia was at 110/3.

Jadeja did not stop there and dismissed Labuschagne at 27 runs in the 29.2 overs. Labuschagne tried to slog-sweep as he went down on his knee, however, the bat took an edge and went straight into KL Rahul's palms. The Aussie batsman discussed with Maxwell and went for a review, but it was wasted.
Alex Carey replaced Labuschagne on the crease and Jadeja did not waste any time to dismiss him when the Aussies were at 119/5. Carey failed to score any runs after playing two balls.

Kuldeep Yadav took the sixth wicket for India after he dismissed Maxwell for 15 runs. The Aussie batsman made a mistake while going for a pull shot but the ball knocked over leg-stump.

Ravichandran Ashwin also joined the fest of the Indian spinner after he removed Camron Green in the 36.2 overs for 8 runs. Ashwin kept a flat good length delivery outside off, Green tried to cut it down but Hardik Pandya made no mistake to take the catch who was standing at backward point.

Australia reached 150 runs in 39.3 overs after playing 237 balls.

India speedster Bumrah bagged his second wicket after dismissing Pat Cummins in 42.2 overs for 15 runs. Shreyas Iyer who was at long-on dived forward to take the catch of the Aussie skipper.

In the second powerplay, the Aussies scored 113 runs and the host of the extravagant tournament picked up six wickets.

Hardik Pandya took his first wicket of the match in the 48.2 overs after he dismissed Adam Zampa for 6 runs. Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj picked up the last wicket of the match as he removed Mitchell Starc for 28 runs.
In the third and last powerplay, Australia could only score 43 runs and the Men in Blue bowling attack picked up three wickets.

In the first inning, the Indian bowling displayed a stellar performance to control Australia's run rate.

Ravindra Jadeja picked up three wickets in his 10-over spell and gave away 28 runs. Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah managed to take two wickets in their 10-over spells.

Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin, Hardik Pandya, and Siraj picked up one wicket each in the first inning.

Brief Scores: India: 201/4 in 41.2 overs (KL Rahul 97*, Virat Kohli 85, Josh Hazlewood 3/38) beat Australia: 199 (Steve Smith 46, David Warner 41, Ravindra Jadeja 3/28).

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