India vs Australia, 3rd ODI | Marsh, Maxwell lead Aussies’ walk in the park

Opting to bat first, Australia rode on fifties by Marsh (96), Smith (76), Labuschagne (71) and Warner (56) to post 352/7; for India, Rohit (81) and Virat (56) scored half-centuries; Maxwell picked up four wickets for the visitors

September 27, 2023 06:28 pm | Updated September 28, 2023 08:59 am IST - Rajkot

Australian players celebrate after winning the 3rd ODI against India at Saurashtra Cricket Association in Rajkot on Sept. 27, 2023.

Australian players celebrate after winning the 3rd ODI against India at Saurashtra Cricket Association in Rajkot on Sept. 27, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Mitchell Marsh called it the hottest condition he faced as a batter. Steve Smith had a chair brought to the middle to sit on. Marnus Labuschagne didn’t seem to be troubled as much, however.

The trio’s handsome contributions — as well as a third successive fifty by David Warner — helped Australia post a formidable 352 for seven and then Glenn Maxwell rolled his golden arm over. All that meant Pat Cummins’s men could put an end to a five-game losing streak and avoid a whitewash.

With the 66–run win in the final ODI at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Wednesday, Australia reduced India’s winning margin in the series to 2-1. Fifties from skipper Rohit Sharma (81, 57b, 5x4, 6x6) and Virat Kohli (56, 61b, 5x4, 1x6), both playing for the first time in the series, raised hopes for the host in front of a packed house, but Maxwell’s spell spelt doom.

His tidy off-spin, which was more about line and length and variations in speed, fetched him a career-best four for 40. He began by accounting for Washington Sundar, who opened with Rohit.

The Tamil Nadu all-rounder played the supporting role well, helping add 74 inside with the skipper inside the 11th over. He was well caught by Labuschagne, running in from the long-off boundary.

Maxwell then took a stunning reflex catch off his own bowling to remove Rohit and had his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate Kohli ballooning a catch to Smith at mid-wicket. By knocking off the off-stump of the centurion from the last game, Shreyas Iyer (48, 43b, 1x4, 2x6), he took Australia closer to victory.

Earlier, Marsh (96, 84b, 13x4, 3x6) and Warner (56, 34b, 6x4, 4x6) didn’t waste too much time on the flat track before tearing into India’s formidable new-ball pair of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, both in their first game of the series. The first change, Prasidh Krishna, wasn’t spared either, with Warner belting him for 19.

Australia raced to 78 for no loss in just eight overs. But off the first ball of the ninth over, Warner fell over while trying to scoop Prasidh over fine-leg and was caught behind.

Marsh, though, continued to strike the ball sweetly and his new partner Smith too kept the scoreboard moving fast; and the first 10 overs produced 90.

The second-wicket stand had been worth 137, off just 119 balls, when Marsh cut a short-pitched googly from Kuldeep Yadav straight into the hands of Prasidh at point. It was a fabulous innings by Marsh, and his disappointment at missing out on a hundred was understandable.

Smith soon joined him in the dressing room; he tried to flick Siraj and missed the line. But, Labuschagne (72, 58b, 9x4) was determined to continue giving headaches to the Aussie selectors, in what was his last opportunity before the World Cup squad is finalised on Thursday.

Brief scores:

Australia innings: David Warner c Rahul b Prasidh 56 Mitchell Marsh c Prasidh b Kuldeep Yadav 96 Steven Smith lbw b Siraj 74 Marnus Labuschagne c Shreyas Iyer b Bumrah 72 Alex Carey (wk) c Kohli b Bumrah 11 Glenn Maxwell b Bumrah 5 Cameron Green c Shreyas Iyer b Kuldeep Yadav 9 Pat Cummins (c) not out 19 Mitchell Starc not out 1 Extras (LB-1, W-8) 9

Total: (for 7 wickets, 50 overs) 352

Fall of wickets: 1-78, 2-215, 3-242, 4-267, 5-281, 6-299, 7-354

India bowling: Jasprit Bumrah 10-0-81-3, Mohammed Siraj 9-0-68-1, Prasidh Krishna 5-0-45-1, Ravindra Jadeja 10-0-61-0, Washington Sundar 10-0-48-0, Kuldeep Yadav 6-0-48-2 

India innings: Rohit Sharma (c) c and b Maxwell 81 Washington Sundar c Labuschagne b Maxwell 18 Virat Kohli c Steven Smith b Maxwell 56 Shreyas Iyer b Maxwell 48 KL Rahul (wk) c Alex Carey b Starc 26 Suryakumar Yadav c Maxwell b Hazlewood 8 Ravindra Jadeja lbw b T Sangha 35 Kuldeep Yadav b Hazlewood 2 Jasprit Bumrah c Labuschagne b Cummins 5 Mohammed Siraj c Cummins b Green 1 Prasidh Krishna not out 0 Extras (LB-1, W-5) 6

Total: (for 10 wickets, 49.4 overs) 286

Fall of wickets: 1-74, 2-144, 3-171, 4-223, 5-233, 6-249, 7-257, 8-270, 9-286, 10-286

Australia bowling: Mitchell Starc 7-0-53-1, Josh Hazlewood 8-0-42-2, Pat Cummins (c) 8-0-59-1, Cameron Green 6.4-0-30-1, Glenn Maxwell 10-0-40-4, Tanveer Sangha 10-0-61-1

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