Usman Khawaja stars as Australia takes ODI series

By Riley Taylor

In their penultimate series before the World Cup in England, Australia (272-9) defeated India (237) with a brilliant all-round display to take the ODI series 3-2.

A stunning 100 from Usman Khawaja coupled with great bowling from Adam Zampa, Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins took Australia to their first ODI series win in India since 2009.
Australian captain Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to bat first with him and Khawaja making a 76-run partnership in the first 15 overs.

Finch was the first wicket to fall, bowled by a spinning delivery by Ravi Jadeja for 27. Then came the game’s biggest partnership, Peter Handscomb adding 99 with Khawaja.

Australia then lost five quick wickets starting with Khawaja falling for 100, hitting a ball from Bhuneshwar Kumar straight to Indian captain Virat Kohli. Glenn Maxwell then came and went for one before Handscomb edged through to keeper Rishabh Pant off Mohammed Shami for 52. Ashton Turner made a run-a-ball 20 before he was caught at long-on by Jadeja off Kuldeep Yadav. Marcus Stoinis then chopped onto his stumps off Kumar for 20. Shami and Pant then combined again to dismiss Alex Carey for three.

Khawaja spoke to ESPN, saying ‘winning a series in India is massive’. 

Australia were in trouble at 229 for seven but a 34-run partnership between Richardson and Cummins frustrated India. Kumar then got his third wicket when he caught Cummins off his own bowling for 15. Richardson and Nathan Lyon saw out the innings for Australia despite Richardson being run out off the last ball for 29 by Kohli.

Despite it being a below-par total, Australia were wary that India had thrown away two games in a row, so they still had a good chance.

India’s innings started with a Shikhar Dhawan onslaught as he took to the Australia bowling. However, Cummins then produced a ball that nipped away from Dhawan which took his edge and was caught behind by Carey for 12.

Kohli joined Rohit Sharma and the pair put on a 53-run partnership in eight overs. However, Stoinis got some extra bounce from his medium pace and managed to catch the edge of Kohli who walked for 20.

Despite being buoyed by Rohit’s half-century, India lost middle-order wickets at regular intervals. Pant fell with the score on 91 when he edged a ball from Lyon to Turner at slip for 16. Vijay Shankar also was out for 16 when he miscued a ball from Zampa to Khawaja. Zampa then ended his spell by dismissing Sharma and Jadeja in the same over, both stumped by Carey.

At 132 for six, the series looked lost for India, but Kumar combined with Kedar Jadhav with a 91-run partnership.

However, Australia finished off the game in stunning fashion starting with Kumar being caught by Finch off Cummins for 46. Richardson then picked up two quick wickets with Jadhav out caught by Maxwell for 44 before catching Shami off his own bowling for three. Stoinis then finished off the game when he flattened Kuldeep’s middle stump to hand Australia a famous win.

Sub-edited by Tony Robertson 

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