Faulkner assault stuns India
Cricket Third one-dayer: Aussie all-rounder hits 29-ball 64 as Dhoni’s blistering hundred goes in vain
It took mere six balls from Ishant Sharma to change the complexion of the match. Resorting to bowling short and length balls, the Indian pacer allowed James Faulkner to hammer him for 30 runs in the 48th over, and rest was easy for Australia.
India’s inability to bowl in death overs costed them dear in the third one-dayer on Saturday as the visitors pulled off an unbelievable four-wicket victory from the doorstep of defeat at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.
Not even a die-hard Aussies fan could have predicted such an end after they had lost six wickets for 213. In fact, they needed 44 runs off 18 balls in pursuit of India’s 303/9, founded on a brilliant unbeaten century by skipper MS Dhoni (139 n.o., 121b, 12×4, 5×6).
But Voges (76 n.o.) and Faulkner (64 n.o. off 29 balls) involved in an unbeaten 93-run partnership, stepped up their attack in the last 10 overs.
Faulkner’s carnage in the 48th over, that included four sixes and a four, reduced the margin to 14 off 12 balls. Australia needed nine from the last over and Faulkner ensured that they reach home with three balls to spare, hitting Vinay Kumar for a six.
The victory gave Australia a 2-1 lead in the seven-match series. Australian batsmen continued to surge ahead on good partnerships, their opening pair of Aaron Finch and Phil Huges rustled up 68 runs before skipper George Bailey and Voges lifted their side’s hope through their 84 run stand for the fourth wicket.
The same, though, cannot be said about the Indian batsmen who were once again undid by the short-pitched deliveries. It was no springboard here, rather, it contained plenty of runs for the batsmen. But also had enough to make the Indian top order hop and jump against the new ball.
Keeping the dew factor in mind Bailey, who won the toss for the third straight time in this series, had no hesitations in inviting India to bat. Mitchell Johnson didn’t disappoint.
Three Indian dismissals—Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja — came through short-pitched deliveries. India were teetering at 76/4 when Dhoni arrived and with his ninth ODI century bailed out a fast sinking home side. Amidst the mayhem at one end, Virat Kohli stood tall making a fifty.
Unlike his blitz in Jaipur, his game here was all about sheer timing and grace as he set down to build the innings.Dhoni began with his characteristic hard grind, based on finding gaps and quick singles, and alongwith Kohli he got India back on track.
Kohli’s dismissal, owing to a faint edge when he tried to hit Glenn Maxwell against the turn in the 30th over, couldn’t have been more ill timed. But Dhoni continued his work at one end. He was quick to shift gears once he reached his 50 which came off 77 balls. He raced to century in the next 30 balls.
It was an innings of uncompromising resolve and ferocious strokeplay by Dhoni. Dhoni used his trademark helicopter shot to menacing use, especially in the death overs.
He made Australians pay for a reprieve in the 49th over as the final over of Faulkner bled 21 runs, all coming from Dhoni’s bat with two sixes and as many fours. But it all went in vain in the end.
Rohit c Finch b Watson 11
Dhawan c Haddin b McKay 8
Kohli c Haddin b Maxwell 68
Raina c Watson b Johnson 17
Yuvraj c Haddin b Johnson 0
Dhoni (not out) 139
(121b, 12×4, 5×6)
Jadeja c Haddin b Johnson 2
Ashwin c Haddin b Johnson 28
B’eshwar c Bailey b Faulkner 10
Vinay (run out) 0
Ishant (not out) 0
Extras: (LB- 13, W-7) 20
Total (For 9 wkts; 50 overs) 303
Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-37, 3-76, 4-76, 5-148, 6-154, 7-230, 8-267, 9-299.
Bowling: Johnson 10-1-46-4, McKay 10-0-49-1, Watson 8-0-74-1, Faulkner 10-0-65-1, Doherty 10-0-45-0, Voges 1-0-3-0, Maxwell 1-0-8-1
Powerplay 1: 1-10 overs: 60/2; Powerplay2: 35-40: 30/0.
Hughes c Dhoni b Vinay 22
Finch lbw b Ishant 38
Watson lbw b Jadeja 11
Bailey lbw b Vinay 43
( 60b, 4×4, 1×6)
A Voges (not out) 76
Maxwell (run out) 3
Haddin c Jadeja b Bhuvneshwar 24
(19b, 2×4, 1×6)
Faulkner (not out) 64
(39b, 2×4, 6×6)
Extras (LB-14, W-9) 23
Total (For 6 wkts; 49.3 overs) 304
Fall of wickets: 1-68, 2-82, 3-88, 4-171, 5-174, 6-213.
Bowling: Bhuvneshwar 10-1-50-1, Vinay 8.3-0-50-2, Ishant 8-1-63-1, Jadeja 10-0-31-1, Yuvraj 3-0 20-0, Ashwin 9-0-58-0, Kohli 1-0-18-0
Powerplay 1: 1-10 overs: 64/0; Powerplay2: 34-39 overs: 28/2.