Dhoni ton in vain as Aussies win

Australia

Australia took a two-one series lead against India on Saturday, winning the third ODI by four wickets in Mohali thanks to half centuries from James Faulkner and Adam Voges, canceling out MS Dhoni's excellent century.

Australia took a two-one series lead against India on Saturday, winning the third ODI by four wickets in Mohali thanks to half centuries from James Faulkner and Adam Voges, canceling out MS Dhoni's excellent century.

After losing the toss and being put in to bat, India found themselves in trouble on 76 for four thanks to Mitchell Johnson's efforts, but Dhoni came in and took the attack to the bowlers, leading his side to 303 for nine.

Australia then looked to be off the pace for most of their innings, and fans would have been forgiven for thinking it would be a tame defeat, but then Faulkner and Voges took advantage of some dire death bowling to reach the score with three balls to spare.

India started poorly as opener Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed in the second over by Clint McKay, caught behind by Brad Haddin for eight. This left second ODI centurions Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli at the crease, so hopes were high.

But their heroics were not set for a repeat, as Rohit was dismissed for 11 by Shane Watson, caught by Aaron Finch. Kohli did impress though, scoring a half century over three partnerships, before falling for 68.

Johnson ended up taking four wickets, including Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh with successive deliveries in the 13th over, leaving India in trouble and needing a Dhoni intervention.

The skipper started off slowly, making his first 46 runs in 76 deliveries. He then accelerated dramatically, scoring 93 runs off the next 45 balls he faced, and thus overtook the previous best Indian ODI score at this ground, which was 99 by Sachin Tendulkar.

Dhoni continued his onslaught despite the regular loss of partners, with only Ravi Ashwin's 28 providing meaningful assistance. Instead, Dhoni turned down singles and instead hit sixes, with the final over racking up 21 runs.

Australia's chase got off to a good start as Finch and Phil Hughes put on 68 for the first wicket, though not going at a pace one would have expected given the target. Once Hughes found himself out for 22, caught behind off R Vinay Kumar, two further wickets fell too.

Finch and Shane Watson departed within six runs of each other, leaving the Aussies on 88 for three. Voges and skipper George Bailey then combined forces to push the score to 171 in the 37th over, though it still was too slow a chase.

Bailey was out for 43, and the game appeared to be up, but Voges kept plugging away, despite the departures of Brad Haddin and Glenn Maxwell. This left Faulkner, rapidly making a name for himself as a batsman, to join the party.

The pair then took advantage of some abject death bowling, with Faulkner scoring 30 runs off one Ishant Sharma over (surely his last in the series?) to make his half century is blistering fashion.

Voges ended the innings on 76 off 88 balls, a superb effort in itself, but Faulkner had 64 off 29 balls, including six sixes. One of those sixes gave Oz the winning runs, as he bludgeoned Vinay Kumar over the ropes with three balls to spare.

India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, R Vinay Kumar, Ishant Sharma

Australia: Aaron Finch, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, George Bailey, Adam Voges, Glenn Maxwell, Brad Haddin, James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Clint McKay, Xavier Doherty

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