Ranchi, March 8 (IANS) Virat Kohli’s magnificent hundred went in vain as India lost to Australia by 32 runs in the third ODI here on Friday. India now lead the five-match series 2-1.
Chasing a stiff 314 for victory, Kohli brought up his second successive ton, a belligerent 123 off 95 balls (4×16, 6×1), but lacked support from other batsmen as Australia’s Adam Zampa wreaked havoc with figures of 3/70 in 10 overs.
Usman Khawaja’s hundred and Aaron Finch’s 93 saw Australia put up 313/5 on the board. In reply, India were bowled out for 281 in 48.2 overs.
Kohli scored his first 50 off 52 balls and the next 50 off just 33 balls. The 30-year-old, who racked up his 41st ODI hundred, looked good to guide the team over the line with his classy on-drives and cover drives, but Zampa put the brakes on him with a yorker after accounting for former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (26).
Zampa also got rid of Kedar Jadhav (26), trapping him in front as the batsman looked to sweep.
India were off to a poor start. Jhyde Richardson (3/37) got the back of Shikhar Dhawan (1), who was caught by Glenn Maxwell at point. Rohit Sharma (14) too did not last long, as Pat Cummins (3/37) trapped him plumb in front.
Ambati Rayudu (2) was castled by Cummins as the hosts were reduced to 27/3 in 6.2 overs. Local hero M.S. Dhoni came to the crease to a loud applause from the packed crowd. But just when he looked good, stitching together a 59-run stand for the fourth wicket with Kohli, Zampa sent him back.
Kohli then joined hands with Jadhav for a 88-run partnership for the fifth wicket and 45 with Vijay Shankar for the sixth, but none were good enough to take India across the line.
Earlier, Khawaja (104), Finch (93) and Glenn Maxwell (47) scored handsomely to help Australia post a formidible total.
Right from the start, the Australian batters played freely and hammered the Indian bowlers at will.
Openers Finch and Khawaja put up 193 runs before skipper Finch was trapped by Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav in the 32nd over. The two played some beautifully crafted shots around the ground. Finch faced 99 balls and hammered 10 boundaries and three sixes.
Maxwell then joined Khawaja and the two played sensibly by rotating the strike and punishing the bad balls. In the process, Khawaja completed his century before being dismissed by pacer Mohammad Shami in the 39th over. His 113-ball knock was laced with 11 boundaries and one six.
After a couple of overs, set batsman Maxwell also departed. A piece of brilliant fielding by Ravindra Jadeja caught Maxwell short of his crease.
Middle-order batsmen Shaun Marsh (7) and Peter Handscomb (0) went back cheaply but Marcus Stoinis (31 not out) and Alex Carey (21 not out) stuck at the wicket and finished off the proceedings.
For India, Kuldeep Yadav took three wickets for 64 runs.
Brief Scores: Australia 313/5 (Usman Khawaja 104, Aaron Finch 93; Kuldeep Yadav 3/64) beat India 281 all out (Virat Kohli 123, Vijay Shankar 32; Pat Cummins 3/37) by 32 runs.