Australian batter Steve Smith drives during the third One-day International against India and Australia at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Wednesday.—AFP
Australian batter Steve Smith drives during the third One-day International against India and Australia at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Wednesday.—AFP

RAJKOT: Glenn Maxwell retu­rned career-best figures of 4-40 to end Australia’s five-match losing streak with a consolation 66-run win over India in the third One-day Intern­ational here at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Wednesday.

Mitchell Marsh led the batting onslaught with his 96 as Australia posted 352-7, a total their bowlers defended by bowling out India for 286.

The hosts took the three-match series 2-1 but Australia finish on a high ahead of the World Cup starting on Oct 5 in India.

Maxwell, who returned to the team alongside Mitchell Starc after the two players recovered from injuries, scored just five with the bat but made an impact with his impressive off-spin.

“I feel like I’ve come into this World Cup nice and fresh and I’m excited to hit the ground running,” Maxwell said after being named man of the match.

Maxwell got the first three wickets including skipper Rohit Sharma, for 81, and star batsman Virat Kohli, for 56, after a brisk start by India.

Rohit raised his fifty in 31 balls and seemed to have the chase in control but Maxwell got him with a stunning caught and bowled in his second over.

He then sent back Kohli soon after the former captain’s 66th ODI fifty and, despite a fighting 48 by Shreyas Iyer, the Indian batting folded in 49.4 overs.

Pace bowler Josh Hazlewood took two wickets as Australia ended the losing streak which started in South Africa earlier this month.

Batsmen set up victory after Marsh tore into the Indian bowlers in attacking partnerships that included a second-wicket stand of 137 with Steve Smith, who hit 74.

The top four batsmen stood out with Marsh, David Warner (56), Smith and Marnus Labuschagne (72) all contributing to a mammoth total that looked like going beyond 400 before India hit back.

Jasprit Bum­rah took three wickets while spinner Kuldeep Yadav took two.

India had only 13 players to pick for their XI with some rested and a virus in camp that made Ishan Kishan miss out.

Marsh took on Bumrah with three boundaries and a six in the paceman’s first two overs.

Warner raced to his fifty in 32 balls in the next. Marsh reached his half-ton in 45 balls but was denied a century when he casually slapped Kuldeep straight to cover. His 84-ball knock included 13 fours and three sixes.

Smith, Alex Carey and Maxwell fell at regular intervals, slowing the tourists down before Labuschagne took control until he was undone by Bumrah’s slower ball in the penultimate over.

Scoreboard

AUSTRALIA:

D. Warner c Rahul b Krishna 56

M. Marsh c Krishna b K. Yadav 96

S. Smith lbw Siraj 74

M. Labuschagne c Iyer b Bumrah 72

A. Carey c Kohli b Bumrah 11

G. Maxwell b Bumrah 5

C. Green c Iyer b K. Yadav 9

P. Cummins not out 19

M. Starc not out 1

EXTRAS (LB-1, W-8) 9

TOTAL (for seven wickets, 50 overs) 352

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-78 (Warner), 2-215 (Marsh), 3-242 (Smith), 4-267 (Carey), 5-281 (Maxwell), 6-299 (Green), 7-345 (Labuschagne)

DID NOT BAT: T. Sangha, J. Hazlewood

BOWLING: Bumrah 10-0-81-3 (3w), Siraj 9-0-68-1 (1w), Krishna 5-0-45-1 (2w), Jadeja 10-0-61-0 (1w), Sundar 10-0-48-0 (1w), K. Yadav 6-0-48-2

INDIA:

R. Sharma c&b Maxwell 81

W. Sundar c Labuschagne b Maxwell 18

V. Kohli c Smith b Maxwell 56

S. Iyer b Maxwell 48

K.L. Rahul c Carey b Starc 26

S. Yadav c Maxwell b Hazlewood 8

R. Jadeja lbw Sangha 35

K. Yadav b Hazlewood 2

J. Bumrah c Labuschagne b Cummins 5

M. Siraj c Cummins b Green 1

P. Krishna not out 0

EXTRAS (LB-1, W-5) 6

TOTAL (all out, 49.4 overs) 286

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-74 (Sundar), 2-144 (Sharma), 3-171 (Kohli), 4-223 (Rahul), 5-233 (S. Yadav), 6-249 (Iyer), 7-257 (K. Yadav), 8-270 (Bumrah), 9-286 (Jadeja)

BOWLING: Starc 7-0-53-1 (2w), Hazlewood 8-0-42-2 (1w), Cummins 8-0-59-1 (1w), Green 6.4-0-30-1 (1w), Maxwell 10-0-40-4, Sangha 10-0-61-1

RESULT: Australia won by 66 runs.

SERIES: India won the three-match series 2-1.

Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2023

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