Khawaja ton seals historic series for Aus | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 14, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, March 14, 2019

Khawaja ton seals historic series for Aus

Opener Usman Khawaja struck his second century of the series as Australia beat India by 35 runs in the fifth and final one-day international to clinch the series 3-2 at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on Wednesday.

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa took three wickets to help bowl out India for 237 on the final ball of their innings while chasing a target of 273 following Khawaja's 106-ball 100 to set up Australia's third straight win after trailing 0-2 in the hard-fought series.

On a sluggish pitch, India needed to bat with discipline but apart from Rohit Sharma, the others disappointed against a high quality Australian attack.

Shikhar Dhawan fell cheaply for 12 while Virat Kohli was dismissed by Marcus Stoinis as the Kotla crowd went silent. Rishabh Pant then walked out looking confident but he did not last long either, falling for 16.

Vijay Shankar looked promising but miscued an Adam Zampa delivery to Khawaja immediately after hitting the leg-spinner for a six. India were in deep trouble at this stage but there was still hope with Kedar Jadhav joining Rohit Sharma in the middle.

Rohit Sharma became Zampa's second victim when he was out stumped; India slipped to 132 for 5 and the onus was really on Ravindra Jadeja to stand firm with Jadhav. However, disaster struck again three balls later when Zampa snared Jadeja for a duck.

In a breathtaking display of audacious stroke play, Jadhav and Bhuvneshwar added 91 for the seventh wicket off 17.1 overs. But the top order failure had left Bhuvneshwar and Jadhav with too much to do.

Pat Cummins removed Bhuvneshwar for 46 in the in the last ball of the 46th over. Jadhav fell in the first ball of the 47th over. And it was game over for India as Australia raced toward a historic series win. No team had ever defeated India in an ODI series after taking a 2-0 lead.

Earlier, Australia batted well after winning the toss. Aaron Finch and Khawaja added 50 plus for the third successive time in the series before the Australian skipper perished to Jadeja for a 43-ball 27 after a 76-run partnership with Khawaja for the opening wicket.

Peter Handscomb picked up from he left off in Mohali and scored an enterprising fifty before a middle-order collapse got Australia worried.

Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey did not set the Kotla on fire but cameos from Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins helped Australia reach a competitive total. At the end, it was enough for Australia to win their first ODI series since January 2017.

SCORES IN BRIEF

AUSTRALIA: 272 for 9 in 50 overs (Khawaja 100, Handscomb 52; Kumar 3-48, Jadeja 2-45, Shami 2-57)

INDIA: 237 all out in 50 overs (Sharma 56, Kumar 46, Jadhav 44; Zampa 3-46, Stoinis 2-31)

Result: Australia won by 35 runs.

Player-of-the-match:  Usman Khawaja.

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