India restrict Australia to below par 242
Nagpur, Oct 1 (PTI) Left-arm spinner Axar Patel stood out in a fine bowling effort as India restricted Australia to 242 for nine in the fifth and final ODI, here today.
Australia once again failed to build on a promising start provided by David Warner (53) and Aaron Finch (32) to end up with a below par total.
Patel (3/38) bowled a tidy spell and managed to register his second best bowling figures in ODIs.
Jasprit Bumrah (2/51) bounced back brilliantly in the death overs to finish with much improved figures.
India, who gave match practice to their reserve pacers – Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami -- in the previous game, today opted for a full strength squad.
In the spin department, spinner Axar Patel took the field alongside Kuldeep Yadav as Yuzvendra Chahal is unwell.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was fairly accurate in his first spell but Bumrah paid the price for being erratic.
After starting with a maiden, Bumrah was guilty of bowling either too full or too short as the dangerous duo of Warner and Finch took him to the cleaners.
Bumrah ended up leaking 34 runs in his opening spell of four overs and was hit for as many seven boundaries. Finch particularly punished the usually accurate pacer, hitting him for five fours, including three in a row in the eighth over.
He pulled Bumrah towards mid-wicket and square leg when he was short and was equally quick to flick him when bowled into the pads.
The Australian's entertaining effort also included a sublime straight drive past the mid-on fielder.
Such was Finch's onslaught that Australia reached 60 for no loss in 10 overs after they had scored just 21 in the first five.
The two big-hitters were once again successful in providing their team a good start after Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bat for the third game in a row.
Finch and Warner's 66-run opening stand came after their monumental 231-run effort in Bengaluru.
Kohli had to do something to change the momentum of the game and he brought in Hardik Pandya as first change.
The lanky all-rounder struck in his second over with Finch mistiming a full ball to Bumrah at mid-off.
The spin trio of Patel, Kuldeep Yadav (0/48) and Kedar Jadhav (1/48) them came into play and were able to stem the flow of runs.
Part-timer Jadhav was impressive and besides keeping things tight, took the prized wicket of Smith, who missed a sweep shot to be plumb in front, leaving Australia at 100 for two in the 20th over.
Two quick wickets, Warner and Peter Handscomb, followed Smith's dismissal triggering a middle-order collapse for Australia and undoing the good work of the openers.
However, it was not the first time in the series that Australia were not able to capitalise on a solid start.
Warner, who was caught at long-on off Patel, played a rather uncharacteristic innings. He was happy to take his time rather than attack from the word go. He ended up collecting only five fours en route to his 17th ODI fifty, which came after a memorable hundred in his 100th ODI.
Handscomb's failed sweep attempt put more pressure on Australia, who were now 118 for four in the 25th over.
Travis Head (42) and Marcus Stoinis (46) steadied the ship with an 87-run stand off 112 balls but got out just when they looked set to push the scoring rate.
Australia were unable to break free at the death, scoring just 32 in the last six overs