India avoid clean sweep in ODI series

By ScoreLine Desk - December 4, 2020

Canberra: India all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s whirlwind 92 to set up a thrilling 13-run win for his team against Australia in the third match at the Manuka Oval. Australia won the three-match series 2-1.

Pandya’s unbeaten knock in 76 deliveries featured seven fours and one six and he added 150 in an entertaining unbroken stand for the sixth-wicket with Ravindra Jadeja to help India post 302 for five.

The hosts seemed cruising in their chase but India’s pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Glenn Maxwell with Australia 35 runs away from a win to turn the game in his team’s favour.

A record sixth-wicket partnership lifted India before improved showing with ball held new-look Aussies in check despite Finch, Maxwell fireworks

The much-anticipated international arrival of all-rounder Cameron Green stole the early headlines, but it was India’s previously untried bowlers who sealed a consolation 13-run win in the final game of the ODI Series.

Green was the most talked-about of the seven changes – both forced and optional – to the two teams made for the fixture rendered a dead-rubber by Australia’s comfortable back-to-back wins in Sydney.

India seemed destined to post a sub-par total when Josh Hazlewood continued his stranglehold over Kohli, but they blasted their way to 5-302 thanks to a sixth-wicket stand of 150 from 18 overs between Hardik Pandya (92no off 76 balls) and Ravindra Jadeja (66no off 50).

In contrast to the first two games of the series, Australia’s revamped batting line-up stumbled early against debutant seamer Thangarasu Natarajan and Shardul Thakur who had been brought in as replacements for Mohammed Shami and Navdeep Saini.

Natarajan struck the first blow, but it was Thakur’s success soon after that resonated loudest when he had Smith – who had plundered 62-ball centuries in each of the first two matches – caught down the leg side for seven, before he was able to even register a boundary.

Desperate to avoid a Series clean-sweep, India squandered a series of opportunities to remove Australia’s batting mainstay Aaron Finch who was missed twice on 22 (a simple slips catch and a possible run out), on 27 (to a tough caught and bowled) and a reviewed lbw shout on 35.

But Finch’s fortune finally expired on 75 when he holed out to long-on, and after brief cameos from Moises Henriques (22 from 31 balls), Green (21 from 27) and Alex Carey (38 from 42), it was up to Glenn Maxwell – arguably in the best form of his career – to see them home.

The 32-year-old flagged his intentions with consecutive sixes off Jadeja – the second of which bounced off the roof of the Bob Hawke Stand and disappeared into the Canberra night – before launching an even more audacious switch-hit from India’s other fresh inclusion, spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

By ScoreLine Desk

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