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Dominant India complete series win over Australia

Hardik Pandya continued his terrific form in the Indore ODI
Hardik Pandya continued his terrific form in the Indore ODI

India 294-5 (Pandya 78) beat
Australia 293-6 (Finch 124) by five wickets
Third One-Day International in Indore

India flexed their batting muscle as they completed a 294 run chase in 47.5 overs with five wickets in hand in the third One-Day International against Australia in Indore thereby completing a 3-0 series win.

Australia receive Finch boost

Steven Smith finally managed to win a toss and without any hesitation decided to bat first on a good batting surface. The visitors were boosted by the return of Aaron Finch (124) and his presence rubbed on David Warner (42) as the duo reached 49 for naught in the first powerplay. Just when Warner was looking to upped the ante further with a six and a four, he was castled by Hardik Pandya (1-58) in the 14th over, ending 70 run opening stand. Finch, who was going at a slow rate struck three boundaries and a six to complete his 17th half-century.

Things looked ominous for India when Finch and Smith (63) were going strong and by the 30th over, Australia were 171 for one. Finch soon became the first Australian opener to score a century in India since 2009 in the 34th over and Smith followed it up with a fifty off just 55 deliveries. The visitors were 221 for one by the end of 38 overs.

India make strong comeback in end overs

Just as the game was slipping away from the home side, Kuldeep Yadav (2-75) removed both the set batsmen - Finch and Smith in quick succession. This is when Australia failed to kick on and also lost Glenn Maxwell (5), Travis Head (4) and Peter Handscomb (3) soon before Marcus Stoinis (27 not out) with his 28 ball knock helped Australia recover a bit and post 293 for six in their 50 overs.

Rohit-Rahane set a solid platform in chase

Chasing close to six an over, Rohit Sharma (71) and Ajinkya Rahane (70) provided a solid start as the pitch turned better to bat in the second innings. Between overs five and nine, Rohit struck three each of boundaries and sixes while Rahane joined the act with three boundaries in the 10th over as India completed the powerplay with a score of 68 for naught. With another six in the 13th over, Rohit completed his 33rd ODI fifty and the 100-run stand came off just 90 deliveries. With the boundaries coming thick and fast, Rahane reached a fifty of his own in the 18th over and the pair added 139 runs for the opening wicket to set a solid platform.

Pandya promotion benefits India

Just when India were going strong, both Rohit and Rahane were dismissed in a span of 12 deliveries to Nathan Coulter-Nile (1-58) and Pat Cummins (2-54) respectively. However, in a surprise move, India opted to send Pandya (78) at number four and he responded with a six in his fourth delivery, indicating things to come. As Pandya was batting with aggression, Virat Kohli (28) looked subtle as the target came down under 100. But, once again India lost Kohli and Kedar Jadhav (2) in quick succession as Australia had a glimmer of hope.

Pandya, who was dropped by Smith in the 37th over, punished the Australians with two sixes and a four to bring his second fifty of the series. The run fest continued and India were left with 54 to get off the final 10 overs with six wickets in hand. In the 45th over bowled by Stoinis (0-61), both Pandya and Manish Pandey (36 not out) struck two boundaries each to ease the pressure. Despite, losing Pandya to Cummins in the 46th over, India managed to get past the winning line in the 48th over with five wickets in hand. Pandya was named the man of the match for his exploit with the bat.

India level record winning streak

The win has also given India a 3-0 series lead in the five game series and this is their ninth consecutive win in the format, levelling with their previous best and Kohli now has the second highest wins as a captain in the history of the game after leading India in 38 ODIs.

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