Ranchi: Australia beat India by 32 runs in third ODI at JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi on Friday keep series alive.
Virat Kohli‘s 41st ODI century threatened to take India to an unassailable 3-0 lead, but in the end Australia hung on to close out a 32-run win in Ranchi that has allowed them to hope.
Set a target of 314 after Usman Khawaja scored his first ODI hundred and Aaron Finch roared back to form with a brisk 93, India’s found themselves indebted to Kohli once again following another poor start, but once he was dismissed for a scintillating 123 off 95 balls the chase petered out.
India were bowled out for 281 in 48.2 overs.
Put in to bat by Kohli -- who won his first toss in five games -- Australia made 313/5 after Khawaja and Finch put on Australia’s first century opening stand in ten ODIs.
They looked good for 350 before losing three wickets in 11 deliveries, and only managed 74 run in their last 11 overs, but thanks to a fine start from Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson and Adam Zampa’s dismissals of Kohli, MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav, a total of 313 was enough
Vijay Shankar (32) and Ravindra Jadeja (24) tried to take the chase deep but Richardson and Cummins finished strongly to stub out the fire.
Earlier, Finch’s first 50-plus score in an ODI had also come on June 21, 2018 and ten innings later he emerged from a prolonged run of low scores to muscle his way to 93 off 99 balls, with ten fours and three sixes, in a partnership of 193 with Khawaja scored his first hundred, a well-compiled 104 off 113.
In a must-win game, Finch and Khawaja gave Australia a terrific start which proved massive in the end result.
From 239/2 in the 39th over, Australia looked poised to get at least 350 but India pulled matters back. A brilliant flick onto the stumps from Dhoni saw Maxwell run out for 47 off 31 balls and then Kuldeep removed Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb in the 44th over. A 50-run stand between Stoinis (31* from 26) and Alex Carey (21* off 17) got Australia to 313.