Australia down India by 21 runs in third ODI to clinch series 2-1

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CHENNAI: Virat Kohli’s half-century went in vain as Adam Zampa’s four-wicket haul and all-round team effort helped Australia defeat India by 21 runs in the third and last match of the ODI series here at MA Chidambaram Stadium on Wednesday. With the win, Australia clinched the three-match ODI series by 2-1.

Australia are the new team at the top of the ICC Men’s ODI Rankings after their thrilling win over India in Chennai. The 21-run win takes Australia marginally ahead of India at the top, with the visitors at 113.286 rating points compared to the Men in Blue’s 112.638. Before the start of the final ODI, India were on top with 114 rating points and Australia had 112.

For Australia, Zampa bagged four while Ashton Agar scalped two wickets. Kohli scored the highest for India at 54 of 72 balls. Hardik Pandya slammed 40 runs in 40 deliveries.

Chasing the target of 270, India got off to a flying start as openers Rohit Sharma and Shubham Gill slammed Australian bowlers all around the ground and made them toil hard. The Indian duo kept piling runs while slamming boundaries at regular intervals and took their team’s total beyond the 50-run mark in under eight overs.

Sean Abbott then provided his team with a significant breakthrough as he dismissed well-set batter Rohit Sharma for 30. The right-handed batter Virat Kohli then came out to bat at the crease. It did not take long for Australia to give another blow to India as Adam Zampa dismissed well-set batter Shubman Gill for 37.

K L Rahul then came out to bat. Kohli opened his hands and slammed one four and one six against Ashton Agar in the 18th over of the game. The Indian duo also brought up a 50-run partnership.

However, Australian bowlers delivered tight bowling and controlled the flow of runs. Rahul then slammed a boundary after 49 balls in the 26th over of the game. Rahul hammered Mitchell Starc for 11 runs with the help of one six and four in the 27th over of the game. Rahul’s stint at the crease was cut short as he was dismissed by Adam Zampa. Rahul returned after scoring 32 runs in 50 balls.

Brilliant fielding from Steve Smith sent Axar Patel back into the pavilion as the Indian batter was run out after playing four balls.

Hardik Pandya then came out to bat. Kohli slammed his 65th ODI half-century and kept the scoreboard ticking. Ashton Agar gave double blows as he dismissed well-set Kohli and Surya Kumar Yadav. Agar first claimed the wicket of Kohli who slammed 54 runs and then Suryakumar for a golden duck.

Ravindra Jadeja then came out to bat. The duo of Jadeja and Pandya took India’s total beyond the 200-run mark. The crucial partnership was broken by Zampa who dismissed Pandya for 40 in the 44th over of the game.

Kuldeep Yadav was next on the crease. Jadeja could not stand long on the crease as he was dismissed by Zampa after scoring 18. New batter Mohammed Shami slammed Marcus Stoinis for one six and boundary. However, in the same over, he handed his wicket to the Aussie bowler. Mohammed Siraj then came out to bat.

In the 49th over of the match, Stoinis and Alex Carey’s quick fielding and stumping got Australia India’s last wicket. The hosts were bundled out for 248.

Earlier, tight bowling spells by Kuldeep Yadav and Hardik Pandya helped India bundle out Australia for 269 in 49 overs. Mitchell Marsh scored the highest for Australia at 47 and made them from as many deliveries. Alex Carey played a knock of 38 runs.

For India, Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav bagged three wickets each while Axar Patel and Mohammed Siraj scalped two wickets respectively.

Opting to bat first, Australia got off to a flying start as their openers Mitchell Marsh and Travis Head made the Indian bowlers toil hard making merry of the excellent batting conditions.

The Aussie openers slammed a flurry of sixes and fours against Indian pacers. The batting pair of Marsh and Head were decisive in their approach. The Aussie batters rotated the strike, not allowing the Indian bowlers to settle as they whacked the loose balls on offer.

However, their dominance did not last long as Hardik Pandya provided India with a big wicket of Head. He returned after scoring 33 runs from 31 deliveries. Australia captain Steve Smith came out to bat, but could not stand for long against the Indian pacer attack as he also fell prey to Pandya.

The left-handed veteran batter David Warner then came out to bat. In the 15th over of the game, Pandya struck again to give India a big breakthrough as he removed well-set Mitchell Marsh.

Having scalped three wickets, Team India bowled a tight line and controlled the flow of runs. Hardik Pandya’s over cost two runs while Ravindra Jadeja conceded only three runs in the 18th over of the game.

Kuldeep Yadav then joined the wicket-taking party as he dismissed Warner for 23. It did not take long for Australia to lose their fifth wicket as Labuschagne returned after scoring 28 runs.

Marcus Stoinis then came out to bat. Stoinis opened his hands and gathered 12 runs in Kuldeep’s over. The Aussie do of Alex Carey and Stoinis slammed Axar Patel for 13 runs while stealing singles at regular intervals.

In the 37th over of the game, Patel removed Stoinis for 25. Kuldeep delivered an absolute ripper to bowl out set batter Carey for 38 and delivered a wicket-maiden over.

With seven wickets down, Ashton Agar and Sean Abbott handled Australia’s charge and the duo kept piling runs while stealing singles.

In the 45th over of the innings, Abbott slammed Patel for two sixes before losing his wicket to the Indian bowler on the last delivery of the over. Abbott returned to the pavilion after scoring 26 runs.

Mitchell Starc then came out to bat. In the 46th over of the innings, Axar delivered a stunning delivery and removed Agar for 17 runs.

Siraj ended Australia’s innings as he claimed the wicket of Starc for 10, helping India skittle out Australia for 269.

Brief score: Australia 269 (Mitchell Marsh 47, Alex Carey 38; Hardik Pandya 3-44) vs India 248 (Virat Kohli 54, Hardik Pandya 40; Adam Zampa 4-45). (ANI)

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