Pandya inspires India to series win over AussiesArchive
INDORE: Hardik Pandya hit an aggressive half-century to lead India to a series-clinching five-wicket win over Australia in the third One-day International in Indore on Sunday.
Pandya’s 72-ball 78 and his crucial fifth-wicket stand with Manish Pandey, who remained unbeaten on 36, helped the hosts chase down their 294-run target with 13 balls to spare.
Openers Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane put together a 139-run stand to lay a solid foundation for the team to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
But it was the Indian bowlers who set up the comfortable victory after opener Aaron Finch’s blazing century, restricting the visitors to 293-6 at the batting-friendly Holkar Stadium.
In reply, Sharma, who hit 71, and Rahane, who made 70, combined the right dose of caution and aggression to give the Australian bowlers a hard time.
Sharma hit a huge six off Kane Richardson early in the innings that sailed out of the ground to signal his intent. He registered his 33rd ODI fifty with another six off Ashton Agar.
His 62-ball-knock was laced with six fours and four sixes before he top-edged a delivery from Nathan Coulter-Nile and substitute fielder Hilton Cartwright made no mistake at deep mid-wicket.
Rahane soon followed his partner back to the pavilion after Pat Cummins, who was brought back for his second spell, trapped the batsman lbw as Australia tried to check a rampaging India.
Kohli tried to take charge during his 56-run stand with Pandya but lost his wicket to left-arm spinner Ashton Agar.
Richardson got Kedar Jadhav caught behind for two as India suddenly found themselves in trouble at 206-4.
The 23-year-old Pandya, who survived a dropped chance by skipper Steve Smith off Agar on 41, then showed maturity as he and Pandey took control of the situation.
Earlier, India’s bowlers fought back strongly after Finch smashed 124 on his return to the side after a calf injury, forged a 154-run second wicket stand with skipper Steve Smith, who made 63 — giving the visitors hope of a 300-plus score.
But paceman Jasprit Bumrah and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav claimed two wickets each to rattle the middle order.
Finch’s 70-run opening stand with David Warner, who made 42 before being bowled by Pandya, set the tone for Australia’s early dominance after they elected to bat.
Finch not only got runs against the quick bowlers but also tackled the two wrist spinners with aplomb to register his eighth ODI hundred with the help of 12 fours and five sixes.
Yadav struck against the run of play to get Finch’s prized scalp after the batsman mistimed a pull and Jadhav took a safe catch at deep mid-wicket.
Yadav struck again to have Smith caught at long on after the star batsman had recorded his second successive fifty of the series.
Glenn Maxwell joined his skipper back in the pavilion in the next over after being stumped off leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal for five as the visitors lost their way.
Bumrah combined with fellow quick Bhuvneshwar Kumar to close out the innings. Just 34 runs were conceded in the last five overs for the loss of two wickets.
The fourth ODI is scheduled for Thursday in Bangalore.
D.A. Warner b Pandya 42
A.J. Finch c Jadhav b Kuldeep 124
S.P.D. Smith c Bumrah b Kuldeep 63
G.J. Maxwell st Dhoni b Chahal 5
T.M. Head b Bumrah 4
M.P. Stoinis not out 27
P. Handscomb c Pandey b Bumrah 3
A.C. Agar not out 9
EXTRAS (LB-2, W-14) 16
TOTAL (for six wkts, 50 overs) 293
FALL OF WKTS: 1-70, 2-224, 3-243, 4-243, 5-260, 6-275.
DID NOT BAT: P.J. Cummins, N.M. Coulter-Nile, K.W. Richardson.
BOWLING: Kumar 10-0-52-0 (4w); Bumrah 10-0-52-2 (5w); Chahal 10-0-54-1; Pandya 10-0-58-1 (2w); Kuldeep Yadav 10-0-75-2 (3w).
A.M. Rahane lbw b Cummins 70
R.G. Sharma c sub b Coulter-Nile 71
V. Kohli c Finch b Agar 28
H. Pandya c Richardson b Cummins 78
K. Jadhav c Handscomb b Richardson 2
M.K. Pandey not out 36
M.S. Dhoni not out 3
EXTRAS (LB-3, W-3) 6
TOTAL (for five wkts, 47.5 overs) 294
FALL OF WKTS: 1-139, 2-147, 3-203, 4-206, 5-284.
DID NOT BAT: B. Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Y.S. Chahal, J.J. Bumrah.
BOWLING: Cummins 10-0-54-2 (1w); Coulter-Nile 10-0-58-1 (1w); Richardson 8.5-0-45-1; Stoinis 8-0-61-0; Agar 10-0-71-1; Maxwell 1-0-2-0.
RESULT: India won by five wickets to lead five-match series 3-0.
UMPIRES: C. Shamshuddin (India) and M. Erasmus (South Africa).
TV UMPIRE: R.K. Illingworth (England).
MATCH REFEREE: J.J. Crowe (New Zealand).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Hardik Pandya.
NEXT MATCH: Bangalore (D/N), Thursday.
Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2017