Nagpur, Oct 1 (IANS) India restricted Australia to 242 runs for nine wickets in 50 overs in their fifth and final One Day International (ODI) here on Sunday.
After Australian skipper Steve Smith won the toss and elected to bat, openers David Warner (53) and Aaron Finch (32) laid a solid foundation of 66 runs but the following top-order batsmen failed to sustain the momentum.
However, Travis Head (42) and Marcus Stoinis (46) put up an 87-run fifth-wicket stand to haul Australia to a respectable total though it may not be enough to stop India from winning the series 4-1.
For India, left-arm spinner Axar Patel was impressive, claiming three wickets for 38 runs in 10 overs.
Warner and Finch, who put up a partnership of 231 runs in the fourth match, started strongly, putting Indian opening bowlers under pressure. Both of them played calculated knocks as the partnership flourished.
Medium pacer Hardik Panya broke the dangerous-looking partnership as Finch was caught by Jasprit Bumrah at mid-off on the third ball of the 12th over, with Australia at 66/1.
Captain Steve Smith (16) joined Warner in the middle as the latter completed his 17th fifty in ODI cricket.
But the partnership lasted only for 34 runs after Smith, attempting a sweep shot, missed a quick delivery from part-time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav and the bowler appealed successful for a LBW.
Australia’s slide continued and left-arm spinner Axar Patel delivered a big blow by removing Warner, who offered a straight catch to Manish Pandey at long on, as the visitors lost their third wicket for 112 runs in 22.2 overs.
Two overs later, the Gujarat spinner bagged his second wicket in the form of Peter Handscomb (13). Handscomb top-edged while going for a sweep shot and slip fielder Ajinkya Rahane ran behind to catch it.
Travis Head (42) and Marcus Stoinis (46) then hauled Australia out of the rot with an 87-run fifth-wicket stand. Both of them took time to settle down and it meant that the spinners ran through their overs with less pressure.
But Head and Stoinis mixed ones and twos with occasional boundaries to put the visitors back on track. They lifted Australian hopes of finishing the innings with a decent total.
But Patel claimed his third victim to break the stand when Head was bowled as he missed the line and length of the ball trying to sweep it in the sixth delivery of the 43rd over.
Two overs later, Stoinis perished too, with Bumrah getting an LBW decision. These two wickets allowed India to contain Australia even in the death overs.
Matthew Wade (20) and James Faulkner (12) then did their best to take Australia to 242/9.
Brief scores: Australia 242/9 in 50 overs (David Warner 53, Marcus Stoinis 46, Travis Head 42; Axar Patel 3/38, Jasprit Bumrah 2/51) vs India.
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