Australia come to the party

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Warner’s quickfire 124 and Richardson’s 3/58 help Australia beat India by 21 runs in fourth one-dayer.

Bengaluru: On a day when Australia needed to dismiss their harshest critics following sedate performances in the previous three one-dayers, openers Aaron Finch (94) and centurion David Warner (124) stepped up with a record 231-run opening stand, that helped the visitors script a 21-run win in the fourth ODI here on Thursday. 

After posting a combative 334/5 on a slow track, they restricted the hosts to 313/8.

Ajinkya Rahane (53) and Rohit Sharma (65) began the chase in a blistering fashion, with both batsmen getting to their fifties with aggressive intent and powerful stroke play. They stitched a 106-run partnership before Rahane fell to Richardson.

Not for the first time, a mix-up between Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli ended the former’s stint at the crease by virtue of a run out. Kohli was handed an early lifeline when he was dropped by spinner Travis Head off the latter’s own delivery. He too failed to capitalize, chopping back onto his stumps off Coulter-Nile.

Two new batsmen occupied the crease and there was lot of work to do. Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav worked hard to put up 76 for the fifth wicket. But clever bowling in the middle overs from the pacers and Adam Zampa piled on the required run rate. Pandya miscued to a player in the deep and the Aussies were ecstatic after removing the danger man.

Jadhav managed 61 runs along with Manish Pandey, but once the question of the Duckworth-Lewis method arose following slight drizzles, India always had one eye on the equation. Wickets fell in a flurry and Australia successfully defended their formidable score. Kane Richardson took 3/58 accounting for Rahane. Jadhav and M.S. Dhoni.

Earlier, Kohli opted to rest his twin death bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar along with chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, bringing in Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Axar Patel.

Visiting captain Steve Smith won the toss and elected to bat. Warner and Finch, the latter playing his second match of the series following his ton in Indore, stepped out and got the Aussies off to a breezy start. The left-right combination targeted Shami and Yadav, will the latter going for plenty as Australia were 63/0 after 10 overs. A six and a four off consecutive loose balls from Patel saw Warner reach his fifty in 46 balls. Australia were in cruise mode, bringing up the 100 in 16 overs.

Scorecard 

Australia:
A. Finch c Pandya b Yadav 94, D. Warner c Patel b Jadhav 124, T. Head c Rahane b Yadav 29, S. Smith c Kohli b Yadav 3, P. Handscomb b Yadav 43, M. Stoinis (not out) 15, M. Wade (not out) 3. Extras: (b4, lb7, w12) 23. Total: (for 5 wkts, in 50 overs) 334.
FoW: 1-231, 2-231, 3-236.
Bowling: Shami 10-1-62-0 (1w), Yadav 10-0-71-4 (4w), Patel 10-0-66-0 (1w), Pandya 5-0-32-0 (2w), Chahal 8-0-54-0 (2w), Jadhav 7-1-38-1 (2w).

India: A. Rahane c Finch b Richardson 53, R. Sharma (run out) 65, V. Kohli b Coulter-Nile 21, H. Pandya c Warner b Zampa 41, K. Jadhav c Finch b Richardson 67, M. Pandey b Cummins 33, M.S. Dhoni b Richardson 13, A. Patel c sub b Coulter-Nile 5, Moha-mmed Shami (not out) 6, U. Yadav (not out) 2. Extras: (lb4, w3) 7. Total: (for 8 wkts, in 50 overs) 313.
FoW: 1-106, 2-135, 3-147, 4-225, 5-286, 6-289, 7-301, 8-306
Bowling: Cummins 10-0-59-1 (3w), Coulter-Nile 10-0-56-2, Richardson 10-0-58-3, Stoinis 4.5-0-34-0, Finch 0.1-0-1-0, Zampa 9-0-63-1, Head 6-0-38-0.



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