Usman Khuwaja’s maiden ton helps Australia beat India

Australia delivered a clinical performance with bat and ball to beat India in the third game of the one-day series played in Ranchi on Friday. Despite splendid century from Virat Kohli, India were dismissed for 281 runs in 48.2 overs.

Chasing 314 runs to win, Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins set the tone for Australia and produced crucial breakthroughs with the new-ball. The opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma once again perished for low scores. Cummins also produced a peach of a delivery to see Ambati Rayudu cleaned up to see India in all sort of trouble at 27 for 3 after 6.2 overs.

Virat Kohli was joined by MS Dhoni at the crease as the duo added 59 runs to see rebuild the innings. There was no stopping Kohli as he played his strokes with ease to maintain pressure on Australian bowlers. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa bowled a full delivery only for Dhoni to see his stumps get rattled. Dhoni scored 26 off 42 balls with the help of two boundaries.

Kedhar Jadhav came to the crease and got off to decent start. He added 88 runs with Virat Kohli to keep India in the hunt to win the game. Kohli brought his half-century off 52 balls and then shifted gears to push the rate of scoring and put pressure back on Australian bowlers. He also went past Rahul Dravid to go third on the list of leading run-scorers for India in limited-overs cricket.

Zampa once again picked up the big wicket of Jadhav, who was trapped right in front of the stumps while trying to play a sweep shot. Kohli brought up 41st century in the 35th over of the innings with India needing 123 runs off the last 15 overs.

The turning point came in the 37th over of the innings as Adam Zampa cleaned up Virat Kohli despite conceding two consecutive boundaries from his previous two deliveries. Vijay Shankar and Ravendra Jadeja scored runs but in the end it wasn’t enough as India fell 32 runs short of a series win.

For Australia, the new-ball pair of Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson delivered an excellent performance in this game and picked up six wickets between them. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa also delivered crucial breakthroughs for the side. Nathan Lyon bowled well and did not allow Indian batsmen to get any easy runs in the middle phase of the innings.

Australia’s opener, Usman Khuwaja, who scored his maiden century to help his side beat India by 32 runs in the third ODI played in Ranchi on Friday.

Earlier in the game, Indian Captain Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to field first. Australia got off to a perfect start as Aaron Finch and Usman Khuwaja put on 193 runs partnership for the opening wicket. Finch survived the early period against the likes of Jaspreet Bumrah and Mohammad Shami. He decided to take the attack on the spinners as Kuldeep Yadav and Ravendra Jadeja failed to keep a lid on the rate of the scoring.

Finch smashed two sixes and a four to bring his half-century off 51 balls. His opening partner, Usman Khuwaja also notched up his fifty off 56 balls. Finch was certainly the aggressor in the opening partnership and continued to punish the Indian bowlers, who erred in their lengths.

Finch played and scored 93 runs off 99 balls with the help of ten fours and three sixes. This was Finch first 50 plus score since becoming the captain of the side in limited-overs cricket. Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav trapped Finch right in front of the stumps to see Australia lose their first wicket in 31st over of the innings.

Usman Khuwaja notched up his maiden ton in limited-overs cricket to see Australia take control of the game. Khuwaja scored 104 off 107 balls with the help of eleven boundaries and a six. Mohammad Shami dismissed him to see Australia lose their second wicket with 239 runs on the board.

Glenn Maxwell played well and scored 47 off 31 balls with the help of three fours and three sixes. The all-rounder took the attack to the bowlers in bid to push Australia well beyond 300 runs. Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb perished quickly in a space of few deliveries to see India make a comeback into the game. Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey put on a 50 run partnership to see Australia post 313 runs from their 50 overs.

For India, Kuldeep Yadav was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets to his name. The rest of the bowling lineup failed to produce breakthroughs on a surface that looked placid from the start.

The fourth game of the one-day series will be played in Mohali on Sunday. India will certainly be keen to make a strong comeback in this game.

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