Aus offie Maxwell dismisses India’s Top-4 at Rajkot to shine in visitors’ 66-run win in third ODI; Mitchell Marsh hits 96 to avoid series whitewash for team
Aus offie Glenn Maxwell celebrates the dismissal of India’s Virat Kohli at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot yesterday. Pic/PTI
India however won the series 2-1.
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India were cruising along at 171 for 2, chasing a stiff target of 353 on a placid track but the middle-order crumbled in chase with Maxwell (4-40) getting crucial breakthroughs to restrict the hosts to 286 in 49.4 overs.
Skipper Rohit Sharma (81) and Virat Kohli (56 off 61 balls) struck fifties to provide the middle-order with a perfect platform in the big chase, but the rest floundered to hand Australia the advantage.
Steve Smith slams 74
Earlier, Mitchell Marsh (96) headlined Australia’s best batting show with David Warner, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne helping themselves to attacking half-centuries during a commanding performance to break a five-ODI losing streak.
The two teams will now play a couple of warm-up games before meeting again in 10 days’ time for the tournament-opener in Chennai on October 8. While Marsh missed reaching triple figure by a whisker, Australia’s batters came good collectively in what was their last official ODI before the start of the World Cup.
Warner had himself to blame for his dismissal after a fiery 56 off 34 balls (6x4s, 4x6s), but he set the tone for Australia early on.
Smith also put brakes on his poor run of scores to make a rapid 74 and towards the end, Labuschagne upped the ante with his 58-ball knock to help Australia post their challenging score.
Labuschagne also became Australia’s top run-getter in the ongoing calendar year.
Rohit, Kohli knocks in vain
During the chase, Rohit clobbered six sixes and five fours to race to 81 from 57 balls and recorded his ninth fifty against Australia and 53rd overall, while Kohli, who looked good for his 48th ODI ton had to settle for 66th half-century. The two batters put on 70 for the second wicket and took India close to the 150-run mark by the 21st over, but after Rohit and Kohli were dismissed, the others fumbled collectively.
Maxwell accounted for Washington Sundar (18) and then held onto a stunning reflex catch of Rohit, had Kohli mistime a pull-shot and fooled Shreyas Iyer (48) with a beauty to mark an impressive return after a six-month long injury layoff. Josh Hazlewood took 2-42 and Cameron Green claimed 1-30 to provide ideal support for Maxwell.
India captain, coming off a two-game break, hit the straps immediately which also made up for the dot balls his first-wicket partner Washington Sundar consumed.
Australia 352-7 in 50 overs (M Marsh 96, S Smith 74, M Labuschagne 72, D Warner 56; J Bumrah 3-81, K Yadav 2-48) beat India 286 all out in 49.4 overs (R Sharma 81, V Kohli 56, S Iyer 48; G Maxwell 4-40, J Hazlewood 2-42) by 66 runs
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