RAJKOT, India: 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 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 in Rajkot. The hosts took the three-match series 2-1 but Australia finish on a high ahead of the ODI World Cup starting October 5 in India.
Maxwell, who returned to the team alongside Mitchell Starc after the two players recovered from their injuries, scored just five with the bat but made an impact with his impressive off-spin.
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 the captain 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.
Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah took three wickets while left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav took two. Marsh took on Bumrah with three boundaries and a six in the paceman´s first two overs and the left-handed Warner soon joined in the charge.
Warner hammered Prasidh Krishna for three fours and a six in the seventh over and raced to his fifty in 32 balls in the next with another hit over the fence. 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.
The two teams now head into the World Cup warm-ups before they meet in the 50-over showpiece tournament on October 8 in Chennai.
Australia won the toss
Warner c Rahul b Krishna 56
Marsh c Krishna b Kuldeep Yadav 96
Smith lbw b Mohammed Siraj 74
Labuschagne c Iyer b Bumrah 72
Carey c Kohli b Bumrah 11
Maxwell b Bumrah 5
Green c Iyer b Yadav 9
Cummins (c) not out 19
Starc not out 1
Extras: (lb 1, w 8) 9
Total: 50 overs 352/7
Did not bat: Tanveer Sangha, Josh Hazlewood
Fall: 1-78, 2-215, 3-242, 4-267, 5-281, 6-299, 7-345
Bowling: Bumrah 10-0-81-3, Siraj 9-0-68-1, Krishna 50-0-45-1, Jadeja 10-0-61-0, Sundar 10-0-48-0, Yadav 6-0-48-2
Sharma (c) c & b Maxwell 81
Sundar c Labuschagne b Maxwell 18
Kohli c Smith b Maxwell 56
Iyer b Maxwell 48
Rahul c Carey b Starc 26
Yadav c Maxwell b Hazlewood 8
Jadeja lbw b Sangha 35
Yadav b Hazlewood 2
Bumrah c Labuschagne b Cummins 5
Siraj c Cummins b Green 1
Krishna not out 0
Extras: (lb 1, w 5) 6
Total: (all-out 49.4 Ov) 286
Fall: 1-74, 2-144, 3-171, 4-223, 5-233, 6-249, 7-257, 8-270, 9-286, 10-286
Bowling: Starc 7-0-53-1, Hazlewood 8-0-42-2, Cummins 8-0-59-1, Green 6.4-0-30-1, Maxwell 10-0-40-4, Sangha 10-0-61-1
Result: Australia won 66 runs
Player of the match: Glenn Maxwell
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