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David Warner, Aaron Finch & Bowlers Star as Australia Edge India by 21 Runs in Fourth ODI

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: September 28, 2017, 10:38 PM IST
David Warner, Aaron Finch & Bowlers Star as Australia Edge India by 21 Runs in Fourth ODI

Australia celebrate after the fall of a wicket against India. (AP Image)

Bengaluru: Centurion David Warner and Aaron Finch showed their sublime hitting capabilities while their bowlers also came to the fore as Australia beat India by 21 runs in the fourth ODI at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday.

With this victory, the visitors broke India's 9-match winning streak in the 50-over format of the game. Also, Australia now trail 1-3 in the series, with the last match to be played in Nagpur on Sunday.

Chasing a daunting target of 335, the hosts were given the perfect start with opener Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma taking the attack to the visitors. The duo put on a century stand for the opening wicket, with both hitting their respective half-centuries.

Rahane (53) was the first wicket to fall for India as he hit the ball straight into the hands of Aaron Finch at long-off off the bowling of Kane Richardson. Rohit Sharma was then joined in the middle by skipper Virat Kohli and the duo kept the scoreboard ticking.

However, calamity struck when a mix-up between Rohit and Kohli resulted in a run-out — courtesy of Steven Smith's brilliance. Smith dove full length towards his right at point and stopped the ball as Kohli and Rohit were trying to go for a run. Both the batsmen ended up being on the striker's end and Rohit was eventually run-out for 65.

Eight balls later, Kohli (21) was castled by Coulter-Nile and the hosts were in a spot of bother as two new batsmen were at the crease now. Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav then steadied the Indian ship and the duo took the hosts past the 200-run mark.

Pandya and Jadhav put on 78 runs for the fourth wicket to bring India right back into the match. However, the partnership was broken by Adam Zampa as Pandya (41) hit the delivery straight into the hands of Warner at long-off.

Manish Pandey joined Kedar Jadhav in the middle and the duo reignited India's hope of winning the match. Jadhav notched up his half-century but rain then interrupted the match for a short while.

Play resumed and Kedar and Pandey started hitting boundaries for fun to take the hosts closer to the target. But just when the balance was shifting in favour of the 'Men in Blue', Jadhav (67) and Pandey (32) departed in quick succession.

The stage was perfectly set for MS Dhoni to hit a few out of the park and take India over the line but he never really got going in the match. Although, the former India skipper hit a four and a six, there were just too many dot balls for his own liking.

Eventually, pressure got the better of him and Dhoni was castled by Richardson on the last ball of the 48th over. India finally fell short by 21 runs in the match and that resulted in their first loss of this five-match series.

Earlier, David Warner hit a splendid century in his 100th ODI as Australia put up a commanding total of 334 for 5 against India. Warner (124 off 119 balls) added 231 for the opening stand with in-form Aaron Finch (94).

However, Australia were looking good for a total in the excess of 350, but the Indian bowlers pulled back in the final 15 overs in which the visitors could manage only 103 runs.

Umesh Yadav was the pick of the bowlers despite being expensive as he had figures of 4/71 in 10 overs to show for his efforts. Kedar Jadhav (1/38 in 7 overs) also did his bit to put
brakes on the scoring after the openers set the tone for the visitors.

A fluent approach by both Warner and Finch provided Australia a record first wicket partnership of 231 off 201 balls, beating the previous record of 212 scripted by Geoff Marsh and David Boon against India in Jaipur in 1986.

Their partnership was also the highest at Bengaluru, beating the previous best of 183 scored by Brad Haddin and Shane Watson against Canada in a 2011 World Cup match.

Warner, who have had a poor series till date, hit 12 boundaries and four sixes while Finch, who hit 10 boundaries and three sixes off 96 balls, missed out on a well-deserved hundred.

Their dismissals in quick succession did put a halt in scoring rate before Peter Handscomb's 43 off 30 balls and Marcus Stoinis's cameo (15 no off 9 balls) enabled them to cross the 330-run mark.

Kedar started it all by enticing Warner to go for a lofted shot which went straight to Axar Patel at long on and then next two wickets of skipper Steve Smith (3) and Finch were bagged by Yadav.

Incidentally, Smith's dismissal was Yadav's 100th victim in ODIs.

The stage was set for Australia to go after the Indian bowling, being comfortably placed at 248 for three in 40 overs but Travis Head (29 off 38 balls) struggled during the back-10 enabling India atleast curtail the Australian total by 20 runs.

Head was holed by Ajinkya Rahane at deep square leg fence off Yadav. Handscomb was cleaned up by Yadav after he scored 43 balls off 30 balls with three boundaries and one six. Mathew Wade (3) and Stoinis remained unbeaten.
First Published: September 28, 2017, 10:37 PM IST

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