India 383-6 (Rohit 209, Dhoni 62) beat
Australia 326 (Faulkner 116) by 57 runs
Seventh One-Day International, Bangalore
A remarkable series that has seen runs scored with abandon ended in fitting fashion with India the victors in Bangalore and so winning the seven-match series 3-2.
Rohit Sharma hit the third double-hundred in ODI history to set up India’s imposing 383 for six. James Faulkner then smashed the fastest century by an Australian as the tourists mounted a late charge and threatened to chase down their target.
Sharma began cautiously at the top of the order and was content to play second fiddle to Shikhar Dhawan after India had been asked to bat. Dhawan raced to 50 off 43 balls, with Sharma taking a more leisurely 71 balls over his.
However, he soon made up for lost time. The dismissals of Dhawan for 60 and the in-form Virat Kohli for a duck didn’t appear to faze him and he reached three figures off 114 balls. The second half of his innings was much more explosive.
When Yuvraj Singh departed for 12 to make it 207 for four in the 34th over, a total of 350 looked a long way off. Sharma and his captain MS Dhoni, though, made mincemeat of the Australian attack, which was without their rested spearhead Mitchell Johnson. They plundered 167 runs from 94 balls for the fifth-wicket and took India close to 400.
Sharma broke the world record for sixes hit in an ODI innings along the way. His 16 maximums overtook Shane Watson’s 15, hit during his 185 not out against Bangladesh. Dhoni, meanwhile, was no slouch at the other end and finished on 62 off only 38 balls. Together they took an astonishing 115 runs from the final six overs of the innings.
Australia looked destined for a heavy defeat at 138 for six in their run chase. Brad Haddin was promoted to number three owing to a hamstring injury to Shane Watson and made 40, adding 57 with Phil Hughes for the second-wicket.
Aaron Finch had been trapped in front in Mohammad Shami’s opening over, with R Ashwin then getting rid of Hughes and Haddin either side of the increasingly influential George Bailey being run-out for just four.
The dismissal of Haddin brought Glenn Maxwell to the crease to begin a curious partnership with Adam Voges. The two added 58, with Voges making only four. Maxwell was simply power defined. He mullered sevens sixes and wasn’t dismissed until he had made 60 off only 22 balls - the joint fastest half-century by an Australian.
That, though, was only the warm-up act for James Faulkner. He first played second-fiddle to Shane Watson as they added 67; Watson making 49 off just 22 balls. It was his ninth-wicket stand with Clint McKay that was to make the Indians sweat.
McKay made only 18 but provided valuable support as the pair added 115 in fewer than 15 overs. Faulkner reached 50 off 35 balls and 100 off only 57 as the target began to get nearer.
However, with 58 needed from the final five overs, he perished and India were able to celebrate. Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja largely escaped the carnage and ended with three wickets apiece, whereas Vinay Kumar was left licking his wounds after going for 102 runs from nine overs.
© Cricket World 2013