India fight back brilliantly to down the Aussies

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Since the series was already decided, both teams wrung the changes for the match, with Australia handing a long awaited debut to Cameron Green, and calling up Sean Abbott and Ashton Agar for Mitchell Starc (back and side), David Warner (groin) and Pat Cummins (rested).

India replaced Mayank Agarwal, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami and Navdeep Saini with Gill, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav and debutant T Natarajan.

If Australia was hoping for a complete whitewash, they were disappointed.

Despite another stunning half-century from Glenn Maxwell, Australia fell short in its quest of a one-day international series whitewash of India on Wednesday night at Manuka Oval

Chasing 303 to win, the Australians lost by 13 runs, with Maxwell’s scintillating 59 off 38 and an impressive 75 from Aaron Finch failing to cancel out a brilliant 150-run sixth-wicket stand that had rescued India’s innings.

There were immediate signs that was going to be a difficult total for Australia to chase, with Jasprit Bumrah looking as threatening as he has all summer in the first over of the innings.

Bumrah looked menacing again

As things turned out Bumrah (2-43 off 9.3) would have to wait until the 45th over for a well earnt reward, bowling Maxwell to restore the tourist’s hopes before picking up a second to end Australia’s innings.

The Indian spearhead was far more impressive than he had been across the opening two matches and should have had the wicket of Finch early only to be let down by first slip Shikhar Dhawan when the opener was only on 22.

Finch would be dropped two more times and made them count with an impressive half-century and Australia needed it to as Marnus Labuschagne (7) and Steve Smith (7) both perished cheaply.

Opening the batting, Labuschagne was knocked over by debutant T Natarajan (2-70) while the in-form Smith was caught down the legside off the bowling of Thardul Shakur (3-51) in the 12th over.

Moises Henriques (22) and debutant Cameron Green (21) both got starts but failed to cash in, falling either side of Finch, who perished to Ravinrda Jadeja (1-62) in the 26th over.

That trio of wickets had the game placed firmly in India’s favour.

Maxwell delivers again

Maxwell came out with Australia in trouble at 5-158 in the 31st over and drove, switch hit and swept them back into the ascendancy, even after a mix-up with Alex Carey (38) cost the latter his wicket.

The Australians seemed destined for victory as Maxwell clobbered seven boundaries including four sixes – one a 100m switch hit – alongside an increasingly assured Ashton Agar.

Alas, having found his radar, Bumrah put an end to the dynamic right hander’s innings, bowling him with a Yorker in the 45th over, leaving Australia needing 35 off 33.

It seemed a simple chase from there, but with Maxwell gone the wheels came off. Sean Abbott (4) fell to Thakur two overs later and then Agar (28) perished against Natarajan to effectively end the match as a contest. Bumrah the ended it officially in the final over, trapping Adam Zampa in front for 4.

Earlier, Australia had the game by the throat after reducing India to 5-152 only for Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja to first steady the ship and then given it a rocket-fuelled propeller that saw the team add 86 runs in the final six overs to finish with a total of 302.

Pandya smashed 92 off 76 and Jadeja 66 off 50 to drag India to a competitive total after the tourists wasted a solid foundations.

The Indians were cruising at 2-114 but lost momentum from there as Australia’s spin twins Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa struck key blows and Josh Hazlewood removed Virat Kohli for a third time in the series.

India 5 for 302 (Pandya 92*, Jadeja 66*, Kohli 63, Agar 2-44) beat Australia 289 (Finch 75, Maxwell 59, Thakur 3-51, Bumrah 2-43) by 13 runs