Sunday, 5 December 2021

Pandya’s blistering 78 guides India to series win vs Australia


KOLKATA: Hardik Pandya was once again the difference maker as he proceeded to hurt Australia yet again in this series as his fourth ODI fifty helped India defeat Australia in the third ODI at the Holkar Stadium on Sunday.

Pandya, who had smashed a magnificent 83 to bail India out of trouble in Chennai along with MS Dhoni, was promoted to No.4 after the quick wickets of Rohit Sharma (71) and Ajinkya Rahane (70).

The move was interpreted as Virat Kohli using Pandya to negate the spin of Ashton Agar in the middle overs and it proved to be effective. He got going with a slog sweep off Agar and he targeted the left-arm orthodox bowler for more punishment by slamming yet another six off him.

India were pegged back slightly with the quick wickets of Virat Kohli (28) and Kedar Jadhav (2) but Pandya continued on his big-hitting ways. He blasted his third six off Agar and smoked a boundary through mid wicket.

The young all-rounder was fortunate though as on 41, he top-edged a lofted shot to extra cover. The ball was swirling in the Indore night sky but Australian captain Steve Smith put the catch down. Pandya made the Aussies pay as he blasted Agar down the ground for his fourth six. He brought up his fifty off just 45 balls.

Earlier in the day, he had chipped in with the ball as well as he castled David Warner for 42 with an off-cutter. He finished with figures of 10-0-58-1.

Pandya finally finished on 78 as he was dismissed by Pat Cummins.

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