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Pandey masterclass halts Australian juggernaut

Pandey masterclass halts Australian juggernaut
Rohit Sharma scored 99 in the fifth ODI against Australia in Sydney.
©REUTERS / Action Images

India 331-4 (Pandey 104no) beat
Australia 330-7 (Warner 122) by six wickets
Fifth One-Day International in Sydney

A wonderful maiden hundred by Manish Pandey helped India become the first team to successfully chase down a 300-plus score in and against Australia while also halting their 19-match winning streak at home in the fifth One-Day International in Sydney ending the series 4-1 in favour of the home side.

India won the toss and opted to bowl first. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ajinkya Rahane were replaced by Jasprit Bumrah and Manish Pandey.

Shaun Marsh came in for Glenn Maxwell while Scott Boland was given another chance in the place of Kane Richardson for Australia.

Aaron Finch (6) struck a boundary in the very first over but a terrific inswinging delivery from Ishant Sharma (2-60) struck him on the pads in the next delivery when he shouldered arms.

Richard Kettleborough ruled him out even though the replays indicated that the ball missed the stumps on height.

David Warner (122) and Steven Smith (28) rebuilt the innings and boosted Australia to 61 for one at the end of the powerplay.

Smith tried to pull a short delivery from Bumrah (2-40) but was caught at short mid-wicket while George Bailey (6) chipped a catch to mid-on off Rishi Dhawan (1-74) a few minutes later. Australia were struggling at 78 for three at that stage.

Meanwhile, Warner completed a run-a-ball fifty in the 20th over. An over later, Shaun (7) was run out responding to Warner’s call for the second run.

Australia were on the back foot at 140 for four at the half-way stage. Warner and Mitchell Marsh (102 not out) batted positively and brought up a 50-run stand in just 48 balls.

Warner slowed down as he neared the three-figure mark but eventually completed a 100-ball century in the 36th over. He immediately upped the ante with a six and a four in the next over.

Soon after Mitchell completed a well-paced fifty, Warner attempted to cut a delivery from Ishant and was caught at backward point.

Matthew Wade (36) and Mitchell put the foot down on the pedal and added 85 runs in just 8.4 overs.

Wade struck two boundaries and a six and gave good support to Mitchell, who was racing away to his maiden century.

Wade eventually edged a delivery from Umesh Yadav (1-82) to the wicket-keeper in the 48th over. In the penultimate over, Bumrah produced a terrific yorker to castle James Faulkner (1) and conceded just three runs.

Ishant gave just four runs in the final over to restrict Australia to 330 for seven. However, India was unable to prevent Mitchell from registering his maiden ODI hundred which came off just 81 balls and was laced with nine boundaries and two sixes.

Just seven runs were conceded in the final two overs. Ishant and Bumrah took two scalps each while Yadav and Rishi had a wicket apiece.

India got off to yet another good start as Rohit Sharma (99) and Shikhar Dhawan (78) added 68 runs in the first powerplay and went on to share a 123-run opening stand.

Shikhar was particularly aggressive in his innings, hitting three sixes and seven fours in his 56-ball knock of 78 runs.

Shikhar reached his fifty with a splendid six over square leg but he was dismissed when Shaun took a wonderful mid-air catch at deep backward point off John Hastings (3-61) in the 19th over.

In his next over, Hastings got Virat Kohli (8) to nick a fuller delivery to the keeper. Meanwhile, Rohit batted calmly and moved on to his fifty from 60 balls.

Rohit and Pandey (104 not out) played aggressive cricket to add 97 runs in just 14.3 overs. Soon after he went past 5000 ODI runs, Rohit was dropped by Shaun in the 34th over.

However, Hastings returned and induced Rohit to edge a ball to the keeper, missing his century by just one-run.

With 100 runs needed from the last 15 overs, MS Dhoni (34) strode to the crease and shared a crucial 94-run partnership with Pandey. Pandey began to accelerate after his fifty and was the dominant force in his partnership with Dhoni.

The Indian skipper struggled to time the ball and was dropped by Nathan Lyon (0-58) in the 42nd over. Between overs 43 and 47, India failed to hit a single boundary and 35 runs were needed from the last 18 balls at that stage.

Just when the pressure was creeping on India, Pandey and Dhoni struck a boundary each in the 48th over and knocked 13 runs off the target.

Despite struggling throughout his innings, Dhoni smashed a six when 12 runs were needed off six balls but holed out off the next delivery.

Nevertheless, Pandey kept his calm and took India home with two balls to spare and also completed his maiden ODI hundred.

Hastings was the best bowler with three wickets. For his fantastic innings, Pandey was awarded the man of the match while Rohit Sharma was given the man of the series award.

© Cricket World 2016