A blow on the left thumb early into his innings couldn’t deter Shikhar Dhawan, as he went on to score a fluent hundred to set up India’s comprehensive win over Australia at The Oval. Here’s Steven Lynch’s report from the 2020 Wisden Almanack.
India v Australia
Match 14, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
The Oval, London
June 9, 2019
Four years previously, Australia had bossed India in the World Cup semi-final in Sydney. Now, before a noisy, partisan crowd, India dominated from the second over, after Sharma’s airy chip off Starc was put down by Coulter-Nile, diving at short mid-wicket. Apart from that, the only discomfort the openers felt while putting on 127 in 22 overs was when Cummins rapped Dhawan on the left thumb, causing a hairline fracture (despite initial optimism, he was eventually ruled out of the tournament).
Sharma parried a catch behind, but Kohli was at his most businesslike, tucking into some precision pulls against Australia’s anaemic change bowling. Dhawan, who lives near Melbourne, sailed to his third hundred in five one-day internationals at The Oval, finally holing out to deep mid-wicket just after smashing Starc straight for his 16th four.
Kohli took a back seat while Pandya (dropped first ball by Carey off Coulter-Nile) bashed and Dhoni lashed; his six off Starc was caught in the back row of the stand at square leg. In all, 116 came from the last ten overs. Once Finch was carelessly run out in the 14th, Australia never really threatened.
Warner edged Bumrah’s opening delivery into his stumps, but survived when the Zing bails stayed put – the tournament’s fifth such instance. Warner continued to 56, but again found timing elusive: for the second time in nine days, he registered his slowest ODI fifty – 77 balls – and 48 of the 84 he faced overall were dots, including 14 in a row. Under cloud, and against testing seam bowling, Smith buckled down for a run-a-ball 69 before he was trapped by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Carey slugged a 25-ball half-century, but in vain.
Dhoni had accepted an ICC ruling that he should stop wearing gloves bearing military insignia, while Zampa briefly excited those looking for another Australian tampering scandal when he pulled something from his pocket and appeared to rub it on the ball. It turned out to be a hand-warmer.
First published in the 2020 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack