India win tense final ODI after seeing off Maxwell threat

By: AFP      Published: 05:26 PM, 2 Dec, 2020
India win tense final ODI after seeing off Maxwell threat
Australian team poses for pictures with the winning trophy of the one-day international cricket series against India at Manuka Oval in Canberra. AFP

India survived a blistering Glenn Maxwell half-century to hold their nerve for a 13-run victory and deny Australia a one-day international series clean sweep in Canberra on Wednesday.

While the explosive Maxwell was at the crease Australia were on track to reel in India's 302-5 total.

But Jasprit Bumrah got the crucial breakthrough bowling Maxwell with a trademark yorker for 59 off 38 balls studded with three fours and four sixes.

That left Australia 38 runs away from victory with three wickets and 35 balls left, but India claimed the remaining wickets to clinch victory with three balls left.

Australia won the opening two matches in Sydney by 66 runs and 51 runs, but India emphatically ended their five-game ODI losing streak -- their worst since January 2016 -- to pull off an exciting victory ahead of Friday's first of three Twenty20 matches against the Australians in Canberra.

India's victory was made possible by an unbroken 150-run partnership between man-of-the-match Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja to swing the momentum after Josh Hazlewood once again proved Virat Kohli's nemesis.

Hazlewood again got the measure of the India master batsman, dismissing him for 63 to put the tourists under mid-innings pressure in the dead rubber.

Kohli's exit threw down the gauntlet to Pandya, who finished top-scorer with 92 off 76 balls with some late fireworks with Ravindra Jadeja 66 (50), who seized the momentum for India, adding 76 runs in the last five overs.

Kohli was out when a review instigated by wicketkeeper Alex Carey picked up a faint spike on 'Ultra-Edge' off Hazlewood which reversed the on-field decision.

It was Hazlewood's third dismissal of Kohli in the three-match series and a massive breakthrough for the Australians who had reduced India to 152-5 in the 32nd over.  

Marnus Labuschagne, promoted to open the innings in David Warner's injury absence, played on T. Natarajan for seven bringing Steve Smith early to the crease after century-plus opening stands in the first two games.

India got the vital breakthrough in the 12th over dismissing Smith, coming off man-of-the-match centuries in the first two games, for just seven to an innocuous leg-side flick off Shardul Thakur.

Alex Carey was run out by Kohli for 38, ending a productive partnership with Maxwell.

Maxwell produced a prodigious reverse sweep for six off Yadav which covered 100m high into the stands in arguably the biggest hit of the season and then he brought up his half-century with another six of Natarajan.

Bumrah ended Maxwell's fireworks to India's great relief with one of his trademark yorkers, bowling the Australian dangerman and leaving the home side tantalisingly close to victory before India held on for a tense win.