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After being thoroughly outplayed in the opening two matches against India, Australia picked up a morale boosting victory in Rajkot to end a run of five consecutive One Day International defeats. Both teams have used the series to rotate players and give their squads vital time in the middle before the Men’s Cricket World Cup which begins on Thursday October 5th. 

Australia Don’t Hesitate To Bat First

Pat Cummins with a near full strength team at his disposal had no hesitation in batting first on a flat looking surface and the Australian openers got the team off to a rapid start David Warner recorded his third consecutive half century of the series before being dismissed shortly after by Pradish Krishna for 56 in 34 balls. He and Mitchell Marsh added 78 for the first wicket in just 8.1 overs. This brought Steve Smith to the crease who along with Marsh continued to score at a healthy rate. Marsh fell short of a century when Krisha was the catcher this time off Kuldeep Yadav for 96. At 215 for 2 with 22 overs remaining a score of over 400 looked well within the sights of the Australia cricket team. Smith fell soon after for 74 to Mohammad Siraj as India managed to put the brakes on to some degree. Wickets fell fairly regularly after that as Marnus Labuschange held things together with 72 from 58 balls. Australia’s total of 352 for 7 was a good one but they would have been disappointed with only scoring 122 from the final 20 overs and just 66 from the last ten. Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling figures of 3 for 81 emphasised this as he conceded 0 for 51 from his first five and took 3 for 30 from his final five. A spell of two halves as he searches for rhythm before the serious stuff begins.

India’s Chase Halted By Key Wickets

India’s batting has looked in ominous form in recent matches and they would have fancied chasing down such a total, they had of course totalled 399 just a few days earlier at Indore. Rohit Sharma continued in this free scoring manner making 81 from 57 balls, supported by Virat Kohli who scored a more becalmed 56 from 61. Both were dismissed by the off spin of Glenn Maxwell though before they could maneuver the home team into a match winning position. Maxwell also took the key wickets of Shreyas Iyer who made 48 from 42, and opener Washington Sundar to claim the player the match prize taking 4 for 40 from his ten overs. India’s chase fell away somewhat as they fell short by 66 runs.

India Still Favourites For Upcoming World Cup

Red hot favourites for the World Cup on home soil, the Indian cricket team will still feel they are in fine fettle going into the tournament though having shown some fairly ruthless form in these three matches, and Australia will be happy to get a win on the board after a run of indifferent results.  

Result

Australia 352 for 7 (Marsh 96, Smith 74, Labuschagne 72, Warner 56, Bumrah 3 for 81) beat India 286 (Sharma 81, Kohli 56, Iyer 48, Maxwell 4 for 40) by 66 runs.