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3rd ODI: Fifties from top four batters, Maxwell’s career-best four-fer propel Australia to consolation win

Rajkot, Sep 27 (IANS) Australia’s top-four batters, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne smashed half-centuries while all-rounder Glenn Maxwell picked career-best figures of 4-40 on his return to the team as Australia picked a consolation 66-run victory over India in the final match of ODI series at SCA Stadium here on Wednesday.

Electing to bat first, Warner made a quick 34-ball 56, his third consecutive fifty of this series. It was followed by Marsh top-scoring with 96 off 84 balls and Smith making 74 off 61 balls. Though India fought back at the end after being taken for plenty of runs, Labuschagne batted through others collapsing around him to make 72 off 58 balls.

His efforts took Australia to a mammoth 352/7, the highest ODI score at this venue, though they were primed to get a score above 400, which was a possibility at one point. In reply, India began well, thanks to half-centuries from returning duo of captain Rohit Sharma (81) and Virat Kohli (56).

But Maxwell took the duo out, apart from Washington Sundar and Shreyas Iyer, to derail India’s chase, with his accuracy and relentless line and length, while varying his pace. Australia also took a leaf out of India’s strategy of using slower balls in the back-end of the innings to bowl out the hosts’ for 286 in 49.4 overs.

The result meant Australia broke their five-match losing streak in ODIs, though India has won the series 2-1. In the afternoon, Marsh got going with four boundaries in first three overs, all of which came against Jasprit Bumrah. Warner joined the boundary-hitting party by smashing Mohammed Siraj for a four and two sixes in the fourth over.

He then took Prasidh Krishna for 19 runs in the seventh over – three fours and a six, with Australia reaching its fifty in just 6.1 overs. Warner reached his fifty by pulling Siraj over long leg for six, before he was foxed by a slower delivery from Prasidh while trying to scoop off him and was caught behind. As Marsh continued to be on the attacking mode and got his fifty in 45 balls, Smith was serene in his placement of drives and flicks.

Though the spinners came over, it made no difference as Marsh and Smith continued to get boundaries at a regular rate. Bumrah’s reintroduction couldn’t change things as Marsh pulled him for six and smashed a hat-trick of fours to take 19 runs off the 23rd over.

Smith got his fifty off 43 balls by driving Bumrah down the ground for a boundary, before an exhausted Marsh fell four runs short of his century by slicing a Kuldeep Yadav googly to cover-point. At 242/2 in the 32nd over, Australia looked in pole position to get to 400 till India fought back.

Smith was trapped lbw off Siraj, when his skiddy delivery went past attempted flick and impact of delivery was in line with off-stump. Bumrah returned to fox Alex Carey with a slower ball off-cutter and holed out to cover, before uprooting Glenn Maxwell’s off-stump with a searing yorker.

Kuldeep had another when Cameron Green holed out to long-on to continue India’s fightback. But Labuschagne stood tall to get his fifty by thumping Kuldeep down the ground for a boundary and took three more boundaries against the pacers before holing out to long-on off Bumrah, as Australia managed to cross 350.

Chasing 353, Rohit was in dazzling timing from the word go, like his lofted cover drive going for six off Mitchell Starc or driving the pacer over deep cover fence for another maximum. Even three of classic pull shots had an air of nonchalance, followed by him getting his fifty in 31 balls in power-play, with Starc unable to hold on to a catch despite diving from third man.

After Rohit had a stand of 74 runs for the opening wicket with his new partner Washington Sundar, Maxwell enticed the latter to go for the big hit and Labuschagne took a wonderful diving catch at long-off. Kohli came in and got going with a drive down the ground off a juicy full toss from debutant leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha.

Kohli was at his wristy best in whipping, driving and delivered a ‘wow’ moment by dancing down the pitch to dispatch a Starc delivery for six via a lofted straight drive, while sharing a 70-run stand with Rohit. But Maxwell put an end to it by taking a stunning one-handed reflex catch, clutching the ball with his right hand.

From there, Australia dried up runs, even though Kohli brought up his 66th ODI fifty by lofting Green over mid-off for a boundary. But he soon became Maxwell’s third scalp by top-edging a quicker delivery to mid-wicket.

KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer hit four boundaries between themselves, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with the increasing required run-rate. Rahul slogged a slower off-cutter to Carey off Starc, while Iyer was castled by Maxwell and Suryakumar Yadav miscued a slower ball from Josh Hazlewood to mid-wicket.

From there, the result was a foregone conclusion despite Ravindra Jadeja three fours and a six in his 36-ball 35, in a bid to get his batting mojo back and became Sangha’s first ODI scalp, as Australia finally got a win ahead of the World Cup.

Brief Scores: Australia 352/7 in 50 overs (Mitchell Marsh 96, Steven Smith 74; Jasprit Bumrah 3-81, Kuldeep Yadav 2-48) beat India 286 in 49.4 overs (Rohit Sharma 81, Virat Kohli 56; Glenn Maxwell 4-40, Josh Hazlewood 2-42) by 66 runs



Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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