50 oversAustralia 352 for 7 (Marsh 96, Smith 74, Labuschagne 72, Bumrah 3-81, Kuldeep 2-48 ) vs India
Despite the tall score, India did manage to pull things back in the last part, conceding 122 runs in the last 20 overs and just 66 off the last ten after Australia’s top order took the bowling unit apart up top.
Batting first, Australia looked charged from the get-go on a placid Rajkot surface spanking 90 runs in the first ten overs with India conceding 11 fours and five sixes. And it was the leader of India’s bowling attack, Jasprit Bumrah, that they targeted as he went for 81 runs off his ten overs, but also managed three wickets..
Marsh creamed the first ball he received from the fast bowler through covers before pummeling him for two fours and six in his second over. Warner then got into the act as he took 16 runs off Mohammed Siraj’s second over – one four through covers and two authoritative sixes over long-on.
Prasidh Krishna was then taken for 19 runs off his first with Warner taking him to the cleaners – three fours and a six – as Australia galloped to 50 in 6.1 overs. Warner soon notched up a half-century of his own, his third of the series, off 32 balls but failed to carry on.
Trying to be a bit too adventurous, Warner pre-meditated a scoop to a Prasidh length ball on the stumps. He lost his footing trying to attempt the shot and could only get a bit of a glove and a top edge through to the wicketkeeper.
Smith, coming on the back of a duck, was in his elements right away. He started off with a typical across-the-line wristy clip behind square for a couple before dishing out a stunning cover drive against Prasidh.
Spin was introduced in the tenth over but did not make much of a difference with both Marsh and Smith collecting boundaries at regular intervals. Marsh brought up his fifty off 45 balls before the heat started to take its toll on him even as Australia breached the 150-mark in the 22nd over with Smith spanking Jadeja for six over deep midwicket.
Bumrah was brought back into the attack in the 23rd over and the pace was just what Marsh wanted to get back his bearings. He hoicked the quick over deep backward square leg before crashing him for three successive fours with Bumrah’s figures after four overs reading 4-0-45-0.
Kuldeep Yadav was held back by Rohit Sharma up till the 24th over but that did not stop Smith from getting to fifty off 43 balls and the 100-stand between the duo. When Australia screamed past the 200-mark in 26.2 overs, 400 was on the cards.
But India managed to pull things back well. Marsh, absolutely knackered by the heat in Rajkot, patted a Kuldeep wrong’un to cover to fall for 96. Soon after, Siraj caught Smith right in front of the stumps with a length ball that skidded through and missed his attempted flick.
Bumrah, who had leaked runs in the first two spells, returned to deceive Alex Carey with a slower offcutter that he could feebly tap to cover before sending Glenn Maxwell back with a pinpoint yorker that took out his off stump. And, when Cameron Green holed out to long-on, Australia had lost four wickets for 57 in 11 overs between the 32nd and 43rd.
Labuschagne, however, kept his composure to keep Australia going. Coming in at No.4, he saw wickets tumble at the other end before finding an ally captain Pat Cummins. Labuschagne smashed 72 off 58 balls with nine fours to his name as Australia crossed the 350 mark in the final over.