Brisbane: In-form opener Rohit Sharma slammed his second successive century to help India post a challenging 308 for eight against an Australian attack that lacked bite in the second cricket ODI in Brisbane on Friday.
Electing to bat at the Gabba, the visitors lost opener Shikhar Dhawan early (6) but a 125-run second-wicket partnership between Rohit (124) and Virat Kohli (59) ensured that the Men in Blue build a solid base.
Things were going along fine when Kohli was dismissed against the run of play. He went for a quick double even as Rohit tried to send him back, but he went ahead for the second run nevertheless and was run-out in the 24th over as Kane Richardson's throw from square leg found him short.
Rohit carried on in the same vein, stitching a 121-run third-wicket stand with Ajinkya Rahane (89).
Rohit, who had blasted 171 in a losing cause at Perth, smashed 11 fours and three sixes during his 127-ball stay at the crease.
Rohit, who registered his 10th ODI hundred, though was unlucky to be run out after his partner's drive caught the finger of James Faulkner to hit the stumps at the non-strikers end.
Rahane then turned pilot to smash six fours and a six in his 80-ball knock to finally return to the pavilion in the penultimate over.
India stuttered in the final few overs as the Australian quicks picked up four wickets in the last 10 deliveries.
Left-arm pacer James Faulkner bagged two wickets while Joel Paris, John Hastings and Scott Boland bagged a wicket each even as they failed to contain the flow of runs.
Paris drew first blood after getting Dhawan to slash at a widish delivery to get the opener caught behind in the third over. It brought Kohli to the crease and along with Rohit, he tried to raise a stand similar to the 200-plus one they had put up in Perth.
The ingredients were just right once again, as they started off well and the 50-mark came up in the 11th over. Glenn Maxwell (0-33) was introduced early into the attack here, but he didn't have the requisite effect as the two batsmen put on their 50-run stand in just 57 balls.
Their milestones came up shortly afterwards, as Rohit brought up his fifth in the 19th over while Kohli got to his 36th ODI half-century in the 22 over. India had crossed the 100-mark in the 20th over along the way.
Kohli's wicket was a big jolt for India, but Rahane came in to calm things down and rotated well to give his settled partner more strike.
Rohit used it to good effect, but he did survive a huge call in the 31st over, edging back to the keeper off Paris. Umpire Mick Martell didn't notice the edge that showed up on the snickometer. Thereafter the batsman brought up his century in the 37th over, off 112 balls, despite lingering in the nineties for a bit.
Rohit's luck finally ran out, and his 121-run partnership with Rahane came to an end, when James Faulkner (2-64) deflected his partner's hit onto the stumps in the 43rd over.
From there onwards, India struggled to get away in the death overs, despite Rahane bringing up his 14th ODI fifty in the 41st over earlier.
Dhoni (11) was caught at long on off Boland (1-64) and then there was a flurry of wickets in the end. Rahane was caught in the deep in the 49th over, while Manish Pandey (6) holed out as well going for a big shot. Ravindra Jadeja (5) was run-out while R Ashwin (1) was out caught at short third man off Hastings (1-46).
India scored 75 runs in their last ten overs, but only a painful 38 runs for 5 wickets in the last five overs.
Updated Date: Jan 15, 2016 13:21 PM