India won their first ever bilateral ODI series in Australia by 2-1.
Yuzvendra Chahal’s six for 42 became the joint best figure by an Indian in Australia with Ajit Agarkar. He became only the second spinner after Imran Tahir to scalp a five-wicket haul in both Australia and South Africa.
This was India’s successful run-chases without any of top three batsmen scoring 50+
The decider match started ten minutes late due to light morning drizzle, which became a crucial factor for the toss. India won the toss and chose to ball first. Chahal had replaced Kuldeep Yadav while Mohammed Siraj, was replaced by the debutant allrounder Vijay Shankar. Siraj, who’s 76 in his 10-over spell on his debut match in Adelaide caused his exclusion. Kedar Jadhav came in place for Ambati Rayudu; who failed to impress with his performance. Australia too had two changes in their playing XI. Adam Zampa and Billy Stanlake came in place of Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Marsh.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 18, 2019
Put into bat, the host was on the back foot from the beginning as Bhuvneshwar bowled a superb opening spell. He handed over the first breakthrough by taking Alex Carey in the third over where Kohli took a commendable catch at second slip.
Captain Aaron Finch’s struggle for runs continued as Bhuvneshwar Kumar trapped him before the wicket in the 9th over by an inswinger for mere 14. However, Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh made the foundation by adding a 73-run stand for the third wicket. But before they could become more dangerous, Kohli handed over the ball to Chahal; who successfully broke the partnership.
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Shaun Marsh was dismissed by Dhoni’s quick glove-work for 39 off 54. Chahal took another two balls to dismiss Khwaja; who hit the ball straight to the bowler. Australia got big blows after the two set batters fell in quick succession. Marcus Stoinis was the third victim of Chahal when he tried to defend a flighted delivery pitched on leg stump but Rohit Sharma ended up taking a brilliant catch at slip.
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) January 18, 2019
Glenn Maxwell tried to steady the ship with Handscomb. He counterattacked by hitting five boundaries before he could score more runs, a short delivery from Mohammed Shami which got a top edge where Bhuvneshwar took a brilliant catch while running in at long leg. Handscomb tried to anchor the innings till the end; scored another half-century off 57 deliveries which included only two boundaries.
He made a 45-run stand with Jhye Richardson before Richardson got dismissed by giving a catch to midwicket in the second over of Chahal’s second spell. Handscomb’s 63-ball 58 came to an end when Chahal trapped him before the stumps in the 46th over. With this wicket, Chahal completed his second five-wicket haul in ODIs and his career-best figure came when Adam Zampa got out by a long-on catch to Shankar. Chahal became only the second spinner after Imran Tahir to scalp a five-wicket haul in both Australia and South Africa. His six for 42 eventually became the joint best figures by an Indian in Australia with Ajit Agarkar.
Shami picked up Billy Stanlake in the 49th over and Australia were bowled out eight balls early. While Chahal’s six-for did the main damage in their batting line-up, Handscomb’s steady half-century helped them to put up a decent competitive total of 230 on board.
Chasing 231, India lost their in-form opener Rohit Sharma in the 6th over for mere 9. He tried to flick Siddle’s delivery away over the square leg but got a leading edge and Shaun Marsh took a wonderful catch at first slip and sent him in. After his dismissal, Kohli and Dhawan added 44 runs through a steady association. But before they could move further, Dhawan got dismissed for 23.
His dismissal brought Dhoni at the crease and he survived his dismissal in the very first ball he faced as Maxwell dropped an easy catch at backward point. Both Dhoni and Kohli built a steady partnership of 54 runs for the third wicket where Kohli survived another dismissal on 32, the previous one was at 10. Dhoni too got an early life at 13 after surviving a run-out.
— ICC (@ICC) January 18, 2019
However, Jhye Richardson was finally able to break the partnership by picking up Kohli who scored a 62-ball 46. The pressure fell upon Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav. India were required another 118 then, both the batters tried to build another steady partnership. Dhoni scored his 70th ODI fifty off 74 deliveries, at the end of the 38th over. This was his 3rd consecutive fifty in the series.
Jadhav utilized his chance pretty well, smashed a half-century off just 52 balls, hitting boundaries to accelerate the run chase along with Dhoni and both added 121-run for the fourth wicket. He lofted over the mid-wicket while hitting Stoinis in the last over and guides India to their first ever bilateral ODI series win in Australia.
Yuzvendra Chahal was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ for his career-best six for 42 while MS Dhoni was the ‘Man of the Series’ for his three consecutive half-centuries, two for winning causes. He scored 193 runs in 3 matches with an average of 64.33 and a strike rate of 73.11.