Rohit Sharma led India beat Australia by 7 wickets on Sunday in the fifth and final ODI of the series played at Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground, Nagpur, Maharashtra. The sheer brilliance of Sharma and assistance by Ajinkya Rahane demolished the Australian challenge which was set at 243 runs.

Australian skipper Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bat at the solid, bouncy pitch of Nagpur. Opener David Warner and Aaron Finch (32) gave a strong start to the visitors but the blooming cricketer Hardik Pandya broke that partnership, sending Finch back to pavillion.

Captain Smith came first down the pecking order but was dismissed at a score of 16 by Kedhar Jadhav. Australia lost two further wickets in quick succession as Axar Patel wreaked havoc at the visiting batsmen.

Patel first dismissed the set batsman in Warner (53) and in his next over he sent Peter Handscomb (13) packing. Australia were struggling at 118/4 but then Travis Head and Marcus Stoinis lead the Australian charge and tested Indian bowlers for long spells.

The breakthrough came in the 43rd over when Axar Patel clean bowled dangerous looking Head (42). Bumrah dealt further damage to Australian side by dismissing Stoinis (46) and made sure the guests don’t pile a huge score.

Following batters of Australia couldn’t pose a significant challenge to Indian bowlers as they were restricted to the score of 242 runs at the expense of 9 wickets in 50 overs.

Looking to win the series with another triumph, Indian openers took nothing for granted and gave a steady start to their side. Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane put a stand of 124 runs for the first wicket and gave a solid opening for the rest of the squad to build upon.

After Rahane (61) was dismissed, captain Virat Kohli took on the mantle. Kohli played unusual defensive innings, allowing Rohit Sharma the freedom to attack the Oz bowlers from the other end. Their partnership fell just 1 run short of a 100 as Rohit Sharma (125) fell prey to Zampa’s delivery.

Virat Kohli (39) got out just 3 deliveries after Sharma but the Indian ship was already docked at the bay by then. Kedhar Jadhav and Manish Pandey did the formalities and India met the target of 243 runs in 43rd over at the expense of 3 wickets.

Rohit Sharma was declared Man of the Match for his tremendous knock while Hardik Pandya took the Man of the Series award for his all-round performances as India sealed the series 4-1.

First Published | 1 October 2017 9:20 PM
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