IND vs AUS: Ashton Turner blitz helps Aussies beat India to level series 2-2
Midde-order batsman forces world to sit up and take notice as he hammers 43-ball 84 to guide Australia's 359-run chase; visitors beat India by 4 wkts to level series 2-2 in Mohali
Australia are determined to make India toil before Virat Kohli & Co come close to earning a win in their last series before the World Cup. Yesterday, they came up with a clinical performance to shock India yet again and clinched the fourth one-day international at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. Chasing a steep 359-run target, Australia won by four wickets with 13 balls to spare, registering their highest ODI run chase in the bargain.
However, the visitors couldn't have triumphed under the Mohali lights had it not been for Ashton Turner, 26. The right hander cracked an unbeaten 84 off 43 balls to stun India, who were well within their right to back themselves for a win. Sure, Australia were helped by the batting efforts of Usman Khawaja (91) and Peter Handscomb (117) but the run-rate was not getting easier. Turner's strokeplay came and changed all that. India's cause was not helped by some sloppy wicketkeeping by Rishabh Pant.
India captain Virat Kohli (right) walks away disappointed after yesterday's four-wicket loss to Australia in Mohali. Pic/AFP
Australia's splendid win, which came four days before the 23rd anniversary of their amazing victory over West Indies in the 1996 World Cup semi-final at the same venue, caused Shikhar Dhawan's superlative hundred to go in vain. Twenty-two runs in his last three previous games could have even the most enduring of performers on the edge before a World Cup selection. However, by the end of the India innings, he was a mighty relieved man with a big hundred under his belt - 143 (off 115 balls, 18x4, 3x6).
Along with Rohit Sharma, he gave India a splendid start in an association which yielded 193 runs before Rohit had to depart five short of a hundred. Dhawan walked back to the dressing room 61 runs later, bowled by Pat Cummins, who went on to claim 5 for 70. Dhawan hit a four off the first ball he faced from Cummins. There was a caught behind appeal by Jason Behrendorff in the second over but he recovered and hit two boundaries off Cummins in the fifth.
There was no stopping Dhawan as he middled the ball well and pierced the gaps. He took a calculative risk and attacked the new ball bowlers and his 44-ball 50 included nine fours and a six.
He cleared the field like a man in form. Ask Glenn Maxwell, who he hit for a 77m six over deep midwicket. Dhawan was free-flowing but his health didn't appear to be perfect. The team's physiotherapist attended to him twice. Dhawan completed his 16th ODI hundred with a leg side four off leggie Adam Zampa on the last ball of the 32nd over. Dhawan's 115-ball knock came to an end when he failed to negotiate Cummins's straighter one and was bowled.
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