David Warner hit a century as Australia beat India by 21 runs in Bangalore to avoided facing a whitewash in their one-day international series.
India had already taken the five-match series with victory in each of the first three encounters.
However, Warner’s well-crafted 124 – in what was his 100th one-day international – helped the tourists set a victory target of 335, which India looked capable of reaching after Rohit Sharma hit a rapid 65 of just 55 balls before Australia picked up late key wickets.
Australia, who won the toss and elected to bat, put on a 231-run stand before Warner was eventually caught by Hardik Pandya off Umesh Yadav.
India, chasing a record 10th successive ODI win, then had Aaron Finch out for 94 and soon sent Australia captain Steve Smith back to the pavilion for three after lasting just five balls.
India finished at 313 for eight, with Kane Richardson returning three wickets for 58 runs.
In a match which went right down to the wire, we look at the key talking points.
The Australian opening batsman was completing a century of ODIs for his country in Bengaluru and he made it an occasion to remember as he notched up his 14th one-day century in style off just 103 deliveries.
The left-hander became the first Australian to score a century on that important milestone and only the ninth in world cricket.
The 30-year-old tonked four sixes and 12 boundaries on the way to a 119-ball 124 as he, along with Finch, fired his side into a commanding position at the interval.
He would eventually depart when he miscued a skidder from Kedar Jadhav to long-on but not after playing one of the most fluent innings of the series.
— Candice Warner (@CandyFalzon) September 28, 2017
The visitors have been on a horrendous run away from home in the 50-over format. Smith’s men last won an ODI away from home against Ireland in September 2016.
Since then they have been blanked 5-0 at South Africa and 2-0 by New Zealand before coming to India.
They were also winless in the ICC Champions Trophy earlier this summer and have been comprehensively beaten by India in the first three matches.
With questions arising over Smith’s captaincy in the limited-overs format, the visitors were under some pressure to get their act right at Bengaluru and duly delivered as they held their nerve in a tense finish to break their duck of 11 consecutive away losses.
The 26-year-old pacer has been tight with his lines and variations in the series so far despite Australia’s losses and he showed what he brings to the table in the visitor’s pace attack on Thursday.
The right-arm fast-bowler picked up three very crucial Indian wickets to dent India’s chase of a mammoth score.
Rahane and Sharma had given the hosts a flying start in their reply as they both brought up their half-centuries in a 100 plus opening stand.
Richardson provided Australia the vital breakthrough when Rahane charged down the wicket to his good length delivery only to skew a sitter to Finch at long-on.
After an initial wobble when India lost three wickets in quick succession, Jadhav and Pandya had stabilized the innings. The former was well set on 67 when Richardson returned at the death to once again provide the breakthrough.
The pacer had Jadhav deceived with a slower ball which the Indian batsman could only miscue to long-off. Richardson then all but ended India’s resistance when he had MS Dhoni chopping on another slower-delivery on to this stumps.
Kane Richardson 7 wkts @ 22.57 in this so far…#INDvAUS
— Jasveer Singh Kharra (@imjsk27) September 28, 2017
Opener David Warner hit a sparkling century in his 100th one-day international to help Australia down India by 21 runs and pull off a consolation win on Thursday.
Warner’s blazing 124 and his 231-run opening stand with Aaron Finch, who made 94, guided the visitors to 334-5 in the fourth game of the five-match series in Bangalore.
The hosts, who lead the series 3-1, faltered in their chase to end on 313-8 despite three half-centuries including a gritty 67 off 69 balls from Kedar Jadhav.
Fast bowlers Kane Richardson and Nathan Coulter-Nile shared five wickets between them to snap India’s winning streak of nine ODI games.
“I thought we were a little bit too wide with the new ball, could have been straighter, but the bowlers pulled it back nicely towards the back end,” said skipper Steve Smith.
“Nice to sit up there and watch Warner do his thing. His ODI form in the last two years has been unbelievable. He continues to grow and get better as a player which is what we’re after,” Smith said of his star opener.
Virat Kohli’s India began its reply on a positive note as openers Rohit Sharma, who hit 65, and Ajinkya Rahane, who made 53, put together a 106-run stand.
Rahane registered a hat-trick of half-centuries and in the next over Sharma hit two big sixes off leg-spinner Adam Zampa to bring up his fifty in style.
Richardson broke the century stand after sending Rahane trudging back to the pavilion.
Sharma tried to keep the momentum going with Kohli for company but a big mix-up between the two batsmen got him run out.
It was Smith’s spectacular stop at backward point that got Sharma stranded with Kohli at the striker’s end. Kohli was soon bowled by Coulter-Nile for 21.
Hardik Pandya, who scored 41, put on a determined 78-run partnership with Jadhav to keep the chase afloat but it became difficult to keep pace with the mounting run-rate.
Jadhav, smashing 7 fours and a six, also got going with Manish Pandey, who scored 33, to put on 61 runs for the fifth wicket, but his wicket took the wheels off the chase.
Earlier electing to bat, the left-right batting pair of Warner and Finch pulverised the Indian bowlers attack in the first 35 overs.
Warner, who received the man of the match award, hit 12 fours and four sixes. It was his 14th ODI century since making his debut at Hobart in 2009.
The batsman got to his milestone with a boundary off part-time spinner Jadhav, jumping for joy as the runs were marked up. He later fell to Jadhav’s off-spin and walked off to a standing ovation.
Finch, who missed out on his second successive century, soon followed his partner after getting caught at mid-on off paceman Umesh Yadav.
“Warner and Finch were spectacular. Really paced the innings nicely. Set us up to get 330. 300 wouldn’t have been enough. Nice to defend and get a win,” said Smith.
Yadav, who returned figures of 4-71, got the prized scalp of Smith to bag his 100th ODI wicket. The visitors lost three wickets in just 15 deliveries.
But Travis Head and Peter Handscomb forged a 63-run fourth-wicket partnership to halt the Indian fightback with some intelligent batting.
Handscomb made a 30-ball 43, laced with three fours and a six, before being bowled by Yadav. Head made an effective 29.
“Australia were really good today. With the bat, their intent was really good. They pulled things back nicely in the field. We didn’t play so bad, but they were better on the day,” said Kohli.
The final match is scheduled for Sunday in Nagpur before the action shifts to the three-match twenty20 series starting October 7.
When you think of Jesse Ryder, a cricketer who has plenty of international experience under his belt, you wouldn’t usually associate him with the Haka.
Especially as we regularly see the dominant All Blacks perform the traditional war cry and dance before every rugby match in what is one of sport’s greatest and most spectacular sights.
But it’s something that Ryder had to get to grips with after being named in the 12-man New Zealand squad for the recently concluded Indoor Cricket World Cup at Dubai’s InSportz Club.
The fact that the all-rounder, who once represented the Black Caps in all formats on the international stage, made the final cut took most people by surprise when the squads were announced in August – let alone those who witnessed his New Zealand side performing the Haka.
Even more so considering that just three weeks before the global tournament began on September 16, Ryder was on the books of St Lucia Stars and shared the same dressing room with the likes of former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson and World Twenty20- winning captain Darren Sammy at the Caribbean Premier League.
But indoor cricket is something that he has had a close association with from a young age. It was more than 20 years ago since he was first introduced to the game and despite establishing himself in the outdoor version, he still continues to be involved in the indoor scene for the fun of it.
“I started when I was 14 or even younger,” he told Sport360. “I played quite a bit and enjoyed it. If I wasn’t enjoying it, I wouldn’t be playing it. “I had the whole winter off (in New Zealand) and I found that I wasn’t doing much at that time. So I just started playing indoors with my mates and in the end, I ended up playing in the domestic tournaments in New Zealand.
“I think it’s more to do about the social kinds of things. For me, it’s a whole new competition for me and it’s something that I hadn’t played for seven years. It’s been really enjoyable and I love getting back into it.”
Anyone who follows the format will notice that indoor cricket is a completely different ball game to what we see from the elite international cricketers on television.
Played inside nets, matches consist of 16 overs with batsmen batting as pairs for four overs each with different methods of scoring. It requires players to be alert because for each wicket that falls, the team is deducted five runs from their total. Yet, Ryder has shown that he’s more than capable of testing himself in what is a fast-paced game even at the age of 33.
The opportunity of playing in his first Indoor Cricket World Cup (ICWC) in Dubai also whetted his appetite to do something he had never done before with the Black Caps and win a global tournament.
“It’s the first winter I’ve taken it pretty seriously so I was pretty keen to get into the New Zealand squad for this World Cup and get things going,” he said. “When I found out I was selected it was an awesome feeling. It’s always awesome to represent your country. Even more so at an Indoor Cricket World Cup because it was my first time playing in this tournament.”
As much as he was excited to play in another World Cup, the dream of getting his hands on the trophy were dashed at the final hurdle.
The Kiwis went all the way to the championship showdown but for the seventh time in their history, came undone to their nearest neighbours and rivals Australia, losing 94-48 on Saturday.
“We had worked really hard for this and we just had to play our own game. I felt that we were good enough to go the whole way,” he said. Although the indoor version is widely popular among Test-playing nations, it is still played by amateurs, who juggle their passion with full-time jobs. Out of more than 400 players who took to the indoor pitches at InSportz Club over the seven days of the ICWC, Ryder was by far the most high-profile cricketer.
He is a person who has won more than 60 international caps for the Black Caps, and has also donned Royal Challengers Bangalore and Pune Warriors shirts in the most glamorous and extravagant Twenty20 competition in the world – the IPL. But despite making a name for himself, he still feels like a newbie when it comes to playing inside the nets.
“I think I learn off more of my indoor team-mates than anything,” he said. “A lot of them have been playing this game a lot more than what I’ve been playing. I had that seven years off and am still getting back in the shot of things. If people want my help, then I’m more than happy to give my advice.”
He will have to wait at least two more years before he gets another shot at world glory but in the meantime he will continue playing both formats. After all, each has its own benefits in helping raise his own game.
“It could even be the other way round,” replied Ryder on whether the indoor game’s skills helps him for outdoor cricket.
“You learn how to play the ball much later and fielding and reaction time and other things is interesting. It goes both ways but I find that the indoor game helps me with my outdoor game especially when playing with a swinging ball. Personally, it helps me with my outdoor game more than my outdoor game helps with my indoor game.”
It’s been more than three years since he last played for the Black Caps. As a veteran of 18 Tests, 48 ODIs and 22 T20Is, he admits the chances are unlikely he will be able to add to that tally but hinted there’s plenty left in the tank.
“It would be nice but it’s something that’s in the back of my mind,” he said. “I’m happy playing domestically and enjoying my cricket. “I still feel I have heaps of outdoor life in me but not much international, but I’ll still play for my domestic side and continue playing indoors throughout the winter.”