The first innings of the final ODI at the Feroz Shah Kotla has come to an end, and the Aussies have posted a target of 273 for the loss of 9 wickets in 50 overs of play
Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja started off in the most ideal manner for the visitors by adding 76 runs for the first wicket. It was Ravindra Jadeja who scalped Finch’s wicket by getting him out clean bowled after a brief knock of 27 (43).
Khawaja regrouped with Peter Handscomb and looked unbothered with the fall of wicket as he kept rotating the singles and doubles along with the odd boundaries on India’s front line spinner – Kuldeep Yadav. Peter Handscomb too continued his good run with the bat and looked comfortable in the middle while navigating the runs.
The two of them contributed in a 99 run partnership with Australia’s score on 175 for 1, before Bhuvneshwar Kumar took the all important wicket of Usman Khawaja through a catch taken by Kohli in the covers after the opening batsman scored his second hundred of his ODI career.
The floodgates were then opened as Ravindra Jadeja quickly took the wicket of Glenn Maxwell for 1 (3) through another catch taken by the Indian skipper. Peter Handscomb departed for 52 (60), courtesy a peach of a delivery by Mohammad Shami which went high on him and too the edge and went straight into the hands of Rishabh Pant.
Australia at 182-4 were now struggling, but a brief cameo of 20 each by Marcus Stoinis, and Ashton Turner assisted Australia to go past the 200 mark region before Kuldeep Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the better of them.
Alex Carey could just add 3 (9) to the scoreboard after nicking one to Pant on Shami’s over, while Jhye Richardson took the onus of hitting the big runs in the final few overs of the game with a quick fire knock of 28 (20).
So, if India are to clinch the series, they will have to battle it out with proper application on tricky wicket which looks to be on the slower side of things. Australia on the other hand will be looking for an emphatic away series win.
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Comes from the United Arab Emirates, is a sports junkie and a journalist, who has been following cricket as well as football since childhood. Played cricket in academies, school, and university levels. A fanatic follower of one of Europe's biggest ever football clubs - Manchester United.