CANBERRA: India all-rounder Hardik Pandya scored his highest One-day International score of 92 to set up a thrilling 13-run win for his team against Australia in the third match at the Manuka Oval on Wednesday and avoid a clean sweep in the series.
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 fellow all-rounder 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.
Bumrah returned in the last over to take the final Australian wicket to bundle them out for 289 with three deliveries remaining.
Maxwell fell for 59 off 38 balls and one of his four sixes landed on the top of the roof of the stadium in Australia’s capital city.
Australia captain Aaron Finch top-scored with 75 to set up the chase after a charmed life during which he was dropped twice early in his innings and also survived a run out chance.
Shardul Thakur was one of the four changes in the Indian side and was the most successful bowler with 3-51 while Bumrah and debutant T Natarajan picked up two wickets each.
Australia won the opening two matches in Sydney by 66 runs and 51 runs, but India emphatically ended their five-game ODI losing streak — their worst since January 2016. The hosts made three changes to their team.
India won the toss for the first time in the series and opted to bat, having failed to chase Australia’s score in the previous two matches.
The hosts bowlers, however, kept the batsmen under check and reduced them to 152 for five in the 32nd over when India captain Virat Kohli was out for 63 to fast bowler Josh Hazlewood for the third time in the series.
During his knock, Kohli became the fastest batsmen to reach 12,000 runs in the 50-over format, reaching the milestone in his 242nd innings. The 32-year-old run-machine broke the record of India batting great and all-time leading run-scorer Sachin Tendulkar, who reached the milestone in 300 innings.
“We were put under the pump in the first half and in the second half of Australia’s innings,” Kohli said. “I would have liked to go on for a bit longer, but it was a great partnership between Pandya and Jadeja.
“The team needed that kind of a boost. That’s needed when you play a team like Australia.”
Kohli was out when a review instigated by wicket-keeper Alex Carey picked up a faint spike on ‘Ultra-Edge’ off Hazlewood which reversed the on-field decision.
It was Hazlewood’s third dismissal of Kohli in the three-match series and a massive breakthrough for the Australians who had reduced India to 152-5 in the 32nd over.
“I thought we fought really well,” said Finch. “It was a great partnership between Hardik and Jadeja. If we got one of those wickets, we could have chased 240 max.”
Jadeja, who smashed five fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 66 off 50 balls, and Pandya added 76 from the last five overs to give India a late boost.
“I have been working hard to play for my country, happy that I’ve got the opportunity,” man-of-the-match Pandya said. “You need to be on your toes when it comes to playing against Australia. You got to push hard and face the challenge against them.”
The two sides will next play three Twenty20 matches, starting with the first on Friday at the same venue.
S. Dhawan c Agar b Abbott 16
Shubman Gill lbw b Agar 3
V. Kohli c Carey b Hazlewood 63
S.S. Iyer c Labuschagne b Zampa 19
K.L. Rahul lbw b Agar 5
H.H. Pandya not out 92
R.A. Jadeja not out 66
EXTRAS (B-1 LB-1 W-4, NB-2) 8
TOTAL (for five wickets, 50 overs) 302
FALL OF WKTS: 1-26, 2-82, 3-114, 4-123, 5-152.
DID NOT BAT: S.N. Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, J.J. Bumrah, T. Natarajan.
BOWLING: Hazlewood 10-1-66-1 (1nb, 2w); Maxwell 5-0-27-0 (2w); Abbott 10-0-84-1; Green 4-0-27-0 (1nb); Agar 10-0-44-2; Zampa 10-0-45-1; Henriques 1-0-7-0.
M. Labuschagne b Natarajan 7
A.J. Finch c Dhawan b Jadeja 75
S.P.D. Smith c Rahul b Thakur 7
M.C. Henriques c Dhawan b Thakur 22
C. Green c Jadeja b Kuldeep 21
A.T. Carey run out 38
G.J. Maxwell b Bumrah 59
A.C. Agar c Yadav b Natarajan 28
S.A. Abbott c Rahul b Thakur 4
A. Zampa lbw b Bumrah 4
J.R. Hazlewood not out
EXTRAS (LB-6, W-9, NB-2) 17
TOTAL (all out, 49.3 overs) 289
FALL OF WKTS: 1-25, 2-56, 3-117, 4-123, 5-158, 6-210, 7-268, 8-278, 9-278.
BOWLING: Bumrah 9.3-0-43-2 (5w); Natarajan 10-1-70-2 (1nb, 4w); Thakur 10-1-51-3; Kuldeep Yadav 10-0-57-1; Jadeja 10-0-62-1 (1nb).
RESULT: India won by 13 runs; Australia win three-match series 2-1.
UMPIRES: B.N.J. Oxenford (Australia) and P. Wilson (Australia).
TV UMPIRE: R.J. Tucker (Australia).
MATCH REFEREE: D.C. Boon (Australia).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Hardik Pandya.
MAN-OF-THE-SERIES: Steve Smith.
FIRST MATCH: Sydney, Australia won by 66 runs.
SECOND MATCH: Sydney, Australia won by 51 runs.