CanberraAfter Shikar Dhawan and Virat Kohlis all-round performance in fourth one-day International with the bat, both scoring tons; Australia has pulled off a remarkable 25-run victory over India when Kane Richardson picked his maiden five-wicket haul as India lost 9 wickets for 46 runs in unfathomable batting collapse at Manuka Oval on Wednesday evening.
While chasing the record total of 349 against Australia, India was cruising at 277 for one at one stage with both Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli past centuries, before a flurry of wickets dampened the hopes of millions of Indian fans.
Indian vice-captain, Virat Kohli hit his 25th ODI hundred and is considered the youngest one to reach the milestone holed out on (106), when he chipped one to mid-off on the bowling of Richardson. It was his 25th century and 13th while chasing down the target and unfortunately the second in a losing cause.
Meanwhile, Shikhar Dhawan, who looked solid and crisp in shot selection, scored a fine century (126).
For Australia, John Hastings, who picked 2 for 50 turned the flood gates on with the wicket of Dhawan and Dhoni (0) in the 38th over when India was struggling at 277 for three.
Richardson picked injured Rahane on (2) who split his webbing during the fielding. In between the two wickets, Gurkeerat Singh (5) lost his nerve going after Lyon (1-76) and finding the square leg fielder.
Sloppy on field Australian fielders dropped three catches as Indian team was in all sorts of trouble at 294 for six
Requiring 55 to win from the last 48 balls Richardson was the man again on screen to undone newcomer Rishi Dhawan (9) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2) to complete his maiden five-wicket haul. Ishant Sharma was the last man to go on the bowling of struggling Mitchell Marsh (0).
Earlier, Australia won the toss and put a massive total of 348 for 8, on a flat track. The resounding opening stand of 187 between David Warner, Aaron Finch was writing the script as he [Finch] went past 2,000 ODI runs.
Finch got to a century and made 107 of 107 balls, which included nine fours and two sixes. Warner on his return started from where he had left was dismissed after scoring 93.
Steven Smith scored brisk 51 of 29 balls to boost the total after Mitchell Marsh was struggling on 22-yards against the variation.
George Bailey went quickly without doing damage (10), James Faulkner and Matthew Wade were sent back without scoring in the space of four balls, but it was late blitz from Glenn Maxwell who smashed three fours and a six before being dismissed in the final over on (41).
As there seemed no help for bowlers, India paceman Ishant Sharma got four wickets and Umesh Yadav bagged three.
In last three matches, India have allowed three-hundred plus run chases as this was the time to chase down record total and set the name in record books, but late resurgence from Australia bowlers didnt let it happen.
Kane Richardson was declared Man of the match for his spending match winning death bowling. Richardson picked 5 for 68.
However, playing for pride, India before the game had made one change; Barinder Sran was replaced by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. For Australia, Shaun Marsh and Scott Boland make way for David Warner, who came back after the paternity leave and Canberras man Nathan Lyon was give a go.
With this win, Australia has been unbeaten for 19 matches at home, a record in itself and overall winning 18 of them.
Australia lead series 4-0 with one match left to play in Sydney on Saturday.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.