• Thursday, July 25, 2024


Pandya heroics help India to beat Australia by 13 runs

Hardik Pandya of India bats during game three of the One Day International series between Australia and India at Manuka Oval on December 02, 2020 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

INDIA all-rounder Hardik Pandya scored his highest one-day international score of 92 to set up a thrilling 13-run win for his team against Australia in the third match at the Manuka Oval on Wednesday(2) and avoid a clean sweep in the series.

Pandya’s unbeaten knock in 76 deliveries featured seven fours and one six and he added 150 in an entertaining unbroken stand for the sixth-wicket with Ravindra Jadeja to help India post 302 for five.

The hosts seemed cruising in their chase but India’s pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Glenn Maxwell with Australia 35 runs away from a win to turn the game in his team’s favour.

Bumrah returned in the last over to take the final Australian wicket to bundle them out for 289 with three deliveries remaining.

Maxwell fell for 59 off 38 balls and one of his four sixes landed on the top of the roof of the stadium in Australia’s capital city.

Australia captain Aaron Finch top-scored with 75 to set up the chase after a charmed life during which he was dropped twice early in his innings and also survived a run out chance.

Shardul Thakur was one of the four changes in the Indian side and was the most successful bowler with 3-51 while Bumrah and debutant T Natarajan picked up two wickets each.

Hosts Australia had already bagged the series with two victories in as many matches in Sydney and the hosts also made three changes to their team.

India won the toss for the first time in the series and opted to bat, having failed to chase Australia’s score in the previous two matches.

The hosts bowlers, however, kept the batsmen under check and reduced them to 152 for five in the 32nd over when India captain Virat Kohli was out for 63 to fast bowler Josh Hazlewood for the third time in the series.

During his knock, Kohli became the fastest batsmen to reach 12,000 runs in the 50-over format, reaching the milestone in his 242nd innings.

The 32-year-old Kohli broke the record of India batting great and all-time leading run-scorer Sachin Tendulkar, who reached the milestone in 300 innings.

Jadeja, who smashed five fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 66 off 50 balls, and Pandya added 76 from the last five overs to give India a late boost.

The two sides will next play three Twenty20 matches, starting with the first on Friday(4) at the same venue.

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