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Dhawan sparkles in India’s victory over Australia

And fans respond to Kohli’s appeals not to boo Smith.

Indian players were celebrating after seeing off Australia (PA)
Indian players were celebrating after seeing off Australia (PA)

Shikhar Dhawan’s composed century drove India to a 36-run World Cup win over Australia where captain Virat Kohli and veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni both played peacemaker.

Dhawan’s 117 steered India to 352 for five, their fourth-highest World Cup
total, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar claiming three wickets for 50 runs and Jasprit
Bumrah three for 61 as Australia were dismissed for 316.

Aaron Finch’s men never threatened the record World Cup chase required for
victory, even though Steve Smith mustered 69 and David Warner 56.

India skipper Kohli posted a punchy 82 and also ordered his fans to stop booing Australia’s Smith, who is still receiving abuse about his now-served ban for ball tampering.

Former captain Dhoni knocked 27 from 14 balls in a neat cameo, but gained most attention for keeping wicket without the Indian army dagger symbol on his gloves.

India’s wicketkeeper was reprimanded by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for wearing the army insignia during the opening World Cup win over South Africa, and warned not to display the symbol again.

Dhoni is an honorary lieutenant colonel of India’s territorial army and so
enjoys the privilege of sporting the symbol on his kit. But the 37-year-old
opted to avoid a collision course with tournament chiefs at The Oval, removing
that army livery from his gloves in the field.

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India’s Shikhar Dhawan had a good day with the bat (Nigel French/PA)

The controversial ‘Zing’ bails failed to fall for the fifth time in the
tournament too, Warner getting the break despite playing Bumrah on to his own stumps.

The ICC insists the light-up bails do not even weigh as much as the heavy bails
regularly used in high winds. But the frequency of stumps being hit without
bails falling has confounded many top players and a host of observers.

Bumrah pressed on undeterred however, claiming the timely wicket of Usman
Khawaja in another fine seam bowling performance.

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Australia’s David Warner got a break before he was finally out for 56 (AP)

India’s second successive win in the competition forced Australia into a first
defeat in their third match.

Rohit Sharma backed up his unbeaten 122 against South Africa with a smart 57, as India racked up a sizeable score without ever truly cutting loose at the
crease.

Kohli’s 82 means he now boasts 91 scores of 50 and higher since his 2008 ODI debut, with Kumar Sangakkara the next closest with 66.

The superstar skipper’s powers even apparently extend to conducting India’s
fervent fans.

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India fans responded to the appeals of Virat Kohli (AP)

The Oval was a sea of blue shirts, and those Indian followers dished out heavy
boos to former Australia captain Smith when he went out to field on the
boundary.

India’s captain knew immediately what the fuss was about, waving at the
supporters and ordering them to clap instead. They responded to his appeal.

Smith thanked Kohli on the field for the gesture, and this proved to be a match
played in the right spirit.

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India’s Jasprit Bumrah squeezed Australia’s top order (Adam Davy/PA)

Australia might be less respectful internally when reviewing this result
however, with Finch and company not nearly aggressive enough with the bat.

Kumar’s two wickets in three balls ultimately finished off Australia’s
resistance – but yet more tight and threatening bowling from Bumrah squeezed the top order.

Alex Carey smashed a quick 55 in the closing stages but not even that could
rattle India, who produced another statement of intent in storming to another
victory.

PA

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