CANBERRA: India all-rounder Hardik Pandya scored his best international one-day score of 92 to set up his team’s dramatic 13-run victory against Australia in Wednesday’s third game at the Manuka Oval and escape a clean sweep in the series.
Seven fours and one six featured Pandya unbeaten knock in 76 deliveries and he added 150 in an exciting unbroken stand for the sixth-wicket with fellow all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to help India post 302 for five.
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In their search, the hosts seemed to be cruising, but India’s pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Glenn Maxwell with Australia 35 runs away from a victory to turn the game in favour of his side.
In the last over, Bumrah returned to take the final Australian wicket to bundle them out with three deliveries left for 289.
Maxwell dropped off 38 balls for 59 and one of his four sixes landed on the top of the stadium roof in the capital city of Australia.
In order to set up the chase after a charmed life during which he was dropped twice early in his innings and also survived a run-out opportunity, Australia captain Aaron Finch top-scored with 75.
Shardul Thakur was one of the four Indian side changes and was the most effective 3-51 bowler, while Bumrah and debutant T Natarajan each picked up two wickets.
Australia dominated the opening two games with 66 runs and 51 runs in Sydney, but India ended their five-game ODI losing streak decisively, their worst since January 2016. Three improvements to their squad were made by the hosts.
For the first time in the series, India won the toss and decided to bat, having struggled in the previous two matches to chase Australia’s score.
However the host bowlers kept the batsmen under pressure and limited them to 152 for five in the 32nd over when for the third time in the series, India captain Virat Kohli was out for 63 to fast bowler Josh Hazlewood.
Kohli became the first batsman during his knock to cross 12,000 runs in the 50-over format, hitting the plateau in his 242nd innings. The 32-year-old run-machine shattered India’s record by beating Sachin Tendulkar, the great and all-time top run-scorer who crossed the plateau in 300 innings.
“In the first half and in the second half of Australia’s innings, we were put under the pump,” Kohli said. I would have loved to go on for a little longer, but it was a wonderful Pandya-Jadeja relationship.
“The squad wanted a lift of that sort. When you play a team like Australia, that’s required.
When a review instigated by wicket-keeper Alex Carey picked up a slight spike off Hazlewood on ‘Ultra-Edge’ that overturned the on-field call, Kohli was out.
In the three-match series, it was Hazlewood’s third dismissal of Kohli and a major breakthrough for the Australians, who limited India to 152-5 in the 32nd over.
“We fought really well, I thought,” said Finch. “The relationship between Hardik and Jadeja was fantastic. We might have chased 240 total if we had one of those wickets.
In his unbeaten 66 out of 50 balls, Jadeja, who smashed five fours and three sixes, and Pandya scored 76 from the last five overs to give India a late lift.
S. Dhawan c Agar b Abbott 16
Shubman Gill lbw b Agar 3
V. Kohli c Carey b Hazlewood 63
S.S. Iyer c Labuschagne b Zampa 19
K.L. Rahul lbw b Agar 5
H.H. Pandya not out 92
R.A. Jadeja not out 66
EXTRAS (B-1 LB-1 W-4, NB-2) 8
TOTAL (for five wickets, 50 overs) 302
FALL OF WKTS: 1-26, 2-82, 3-114, 4-123, 5-152.
DID NOT BAT: S.N. Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, J.J. Bumrah, T. Natarajan.
BOWLING: Hazlewood 10-1-66-1 (1nb, 2w); Maxwell 5-0-27-0 (2w); Abbott 10-0-84-1; Green 4-0-27-0 (1nb); Agar 10-0-44-2; Zampa 10-0-45-1; Henriques 1-0-7-0.
M. Labuschagne b Natarajan 7
A.J. Finch c Dhawan b Jadeja 75
S.P.D. Smith c Rahul b Thakur 7
M.C. Henriques c Dhawan b Thakur 22
C. Green c Jadeja b Kuldeep 21
A.T. Carey run out 38
G.J. Maxwell b Bumrah 59
A.C. Agar c Yadav b Natarajan 28
S.A. Abbott c Rahul b Thakur 4
A. Zampa lbw b Bumrah 4
J.R. Hazlewood not out
EXTRAS (LB-6, W-9, NB-2) 17
TOTAL (all out, 49.3 overs) 289
FALL OF WKTS: 1-25, 2-56, 3-117, 4-123, 5-158, 6-210, 7-268, 8-278, 9-278.
BOWLING: Bumrah 9.3-0-43-2 (5w); Natarajan 10-1-70-2 (1nb, 4w); Thakur 10-1-51-3; Kuldeep Yadav 10-0-57-1; Jadeja 10-0-62-1 (1nb).
RESULT: India won by 13 runs; Australia win three-match series 2-1.
UMPIRES: B.N.J. Oxenford (Australia) and P. Wilson (Australia).
TV UMPIRE: R.J. Tucker (Australia).
MATCH REFEREE: D.C. Boon (Australia).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Hardik Pandya.
MAN-OF-THE-SERIES: Steve Smith.
FIRST MATCH: Sydney, Australia won by 66 runs.
SECOND MATCH: Sydney, Australia won by 51 runs.