Bengaluru, Sep 28 (IANS) Opening batsmen David Warner (124) and Aaron Finch (94) guided Australia to 334 for five in 50 overs against India in their fourth One-Day International (ODI) cricket match here on Thursday.
Playing his 100th ODI, Warner struck his 14th century as he and Finch forged a 231-run stand for the opening wicket at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here.
India pulled things under control after the end of the opening partnership in the 35th over but Peter Handscomb’s 43 off 30 balls put the visitors in command.
India, having already won the five-match series with victories in the first three ODIs, rested pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah and left-arm wrist (chinaman) spinner Kuldeep Yadav and brought in pacers Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami and left-arm spinner Axar Patel.
After Australian captain Steven Smith won the toss and elected to bat first, Warner and Finch were comfortable against Umesh and Shami and the left-right Australian combination took the attack to the opposition straightaway.
Finch, who hammered his eighth century in the third ODI, looked to have resumed from where he left off in Indore.
His backfoot play was quite impressive and mostly presented a straighter bat, while Warner, who was at his usual aggressive best, went for his strokes all around the park. By the end of 16 overs, Australia had crossed the three-figure mark.
Even the spinners, Axar and Yuzvendra Chahal, were not spared from the Warner-Finch assault.
Warner brought all his repertoire of strokes and the spinners even faced the wrath of the left-hander swashbuckling switch-hitter.
Their partnership threatened to take the match away from India as Warner went for clean hitting. Moving his front leg away, his hits over the midwicket fence off spinners were a treat to watch.
A cracking cut towards the backward point in the fourth ball of the 31st over bowled by off-spinner Kedar Jadhav brought Warner’s century in 103 deliveries.
After completing his century, Warner stepped up a gear as he whacked Axar for one six and two fours in the 34th over.
In the following over, Jadhav provided relief to the Indian camp by dismissing Warner when the batsman offered a catch to Axar at long-on — and Australia were at 231/1.
Soon after Warner’s wicket, Finch too fell, giving a straight catch to Hardik Pandya at mid-on off the bowling of Umesh. Australia witnessed another torrid time when captain Steven Smith (3) too was accounted for by Yadav, with the visitors at 236/3 in 37.1 overs.
Afterwards, Handscomb and Travis Head (29) saw off the bad time and put up a partnership of 65 runs to avert a late batting order collapse.
Right-armer Yadav picked up both of them later but their partnership allowed Australia to finish strongly.
Brief scores: Australia: 334/5 in 50 overs (David Warner 124, Aaron Finch 94; Umesh Yadav 4/71) vs India in 4th ODI.
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