India thrashed Australia by 5 wickets in the third ODI in Indore to clinch the series and ease past South Africa to claim the No.1 spot on the ICC ODI Team Rankings. The win also meant that the Virat Kohli-led team equalled India's previous best longest winning streak in ODIs, which is nine.
After losing the toss consecutively in the first two ODI matches, Aussie skipper Steve Smith finally found lady luck on his side. Opting to bat first, openers Aaron Finch (124) and David Warner (42) gave the Aussies a fantastic start to the innings. The duo added 70 runs for the opening wicket before Pandya's quick offcutter ripped through Warner's defence. Following his departure, Finch raised a solid 154-run partnership with captain Steve Smith (63) for the second wicket to put the Aussies in a commanding position at 224/1 after 37 overs. With a target of 350 on the horizon, the Aussies threw it away as they lost wickets in quick succession that derailed their momentum. Finch and Smith perished in the deep as they resorted to find quick runs. Maxwell's poor run of performances continued as he was stumped by Dhoni off Chahal's wide delivery. Pacer Jasprit Bumrah struck twice in the death overs to dismiss Travis Head (4) and Peter Handscomb (3) as the Aussies fell short of the 300-run mark to finish at 292/6.
Chasing 294 for a win, Rohit Sharma (71) and Ajikya Rahane (70) gave a blazing start to the home team with a sensational opening stand of 139. Pacers Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins removed both the openers as India lost the momentum and were left at 147/2. Hardik Pandya (78), who was promoted up the batting line-up, joined skipper Virat Kohli (28) on the pitch. The duo were cruising at that stage but quick dismissals of Kohli and Kedar Jadhav infused some life into the match. However, Pandya continued his rampage with the bat alongside Manish Pandey (36) to overhaul the target with 13 balls to spare and take a series-clinching 3-0 lead. The win also meant that India maintained their unbeaten run and have now recorded six consecutive ODI-series win.
The teams now face each other in the fourth ODI match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on September 28. While the Men in Blue will look to maintain the pressure and aim for a series whitewash, the Aussies need to find something special to beat this Indian team!
West Indies Tour of England
England have took a 2-0 lead in the five match ODI series following their empathic 124-run victory over the Windies in the third ODI at Bristol. This was after the second ODI earlier last week was called off due to bad weather.
England posted a mammoth 369-9 on-board, riding on Moeen Ali's blazing record breaking century. The all-rounder smashed 102 off only 57 deliveries, the second-fastest hundred by an England player, after Joe Root (84) and Ben Stokes (73) laid the foundations for England. The highlight of Ali's knock was his assault between 45th and 46th overs, wherein he scored a record breaking 50 runs in just 12 balls.
Chasing mammoth target of 370, the Windies were never likely to recover from the damage brought by Moeen's 53-ball century. However, the Windies at least stood a chance while Gayle was at the crease. Gayle smashed 15 boundaries before he was run out on 94, leaving the Windies still 194 shy of victory. Following Gayle's wicket, the Windies never looked like getting there as England's bowlers, led by a maiden ODI five-wicket haul from Liam Plunkett, bundled out the Windies for 245. While the Windies can only save the series now, England will now be looking for the kill in the fourth ODI at the Oval.