Australia registered their second win in the ongoing Carlton Mid Tri-Series against India in Melbourne a few hours back. Aaron Finch and Mitchell Starc played a key role in the match. There were some tense moments at the end of the match, but all-rounder Faulkner guided the team towards an exciting victory.
Earlier MS Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat first. India could put only 267/8 at the end of 50 overs. Rohit Sharma batted brilliantly and scored a magnificent 138 with 9 fours and 4 sixes. The Kangaroo bowlers kept Indian batsmen under pressure throughout the inning. Especially Mitchell Starc bowled astonishingly well to keep the Indians under pressure.
Rohit Sharma lacked the required support from other end otherwise the score of the team could have easily surpassed 300-run mark. The dashing right handed batsman kept on scoring at his ease irrespective of the tough Aussie bowling attack. Suresh Raina also showed some guts to play out in the middle and scored some runs. He scored a well composed 51 off 63 balls. It was the much needed 126-run partnership between Raina and Rohit for the fourth wicket that helped India cross 250.
No other batsmen showed the spirit to play the swinging deliveries off the Aussie pacer Mitchell Starc. Undoubtedly he was bowling at his best, but that doesn’t mean India would completely surrender. Shikhar Dhawan was the first to be dismissed and he got out very cheaply without putting any fight.
The Debutant Aussie bowler Gurinder Sandhu removed Ajinkya Rahane even before he could reach double figure. Indian skipper MS Dhoni was also dismissed cheaply for 18. Starc completely demolished India’s batting order and finished his spell with a career best figure of 6/43 in 10 overs. Needless to say Indian batsmen barring Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina were completely clueless about Starc’s bowling attack.
Australia seemed very much under control once they started batting. Aaron Finch and David Warner were batting well and kept run-rate under control. However Umesh Yadav gave India the much needed breakthrough when Warner was caught by Raina on 24. Then Shane Watson spent some time in the middle and scored 41 before Akshar Patel bowled him out. Steve Smith came to the crease and played a good knock of 47 before he was dismissed by Mohammad Shammi. Soon Finch got out on 96. He was caught out by Dhoni off Umesh Yadav’s delivery.
Then the dismissals of George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell put the Australian team in deep trouble, with the team still needed 20 runs off 20 balls with only four wickets left. However, James Faulkner and veteran Haddin stayed at the crease and held their nerves. When the team needed final fifteen runs off the last two overs Faulkner and Haddin smashed Bhuveneshwar Kumar for 16 runs in the second last over of the match to script second consecutive win for Australia in the Tri-Series. Starc was awarded Man of the Match award for his spectacular bowling.