Indore, Sep 24: India rode on a strong batting performance to defeat Australia by five wickets in the third One-Day Intertiol (ODI) and clinch the five-match series at the Holkar Stadium here on Sunday.
Chasing a target of 294 runs, India crossed the line in 47.5 overs to take an ussailable 3-0 lead in the series. With this win, India skipper Virat Kohli equalled predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni's record run of nine ODI wins on the trot.
Dhoni's winning streak as captain stretched from February 2008 to January 2009. Kohli's winning run started on July 26 this year.
Openers Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane gave India a fine start with a partnership of 139 runs.
Rohit scored 71 runs off 62 balls. The Mumbai batsman was in fine form, smashing the ball four times into the stands and six times to the ropes.
Rahane hit nine boundaries while scoring 70 runs off 76 balls. Later, Hardik Pandya produced a power-packed knock lower down the order to carry the hosts to the cusp of victory.
The Baroda all-rounder top scored for the hosts with 78 runs off 72 deliveries, hitting five boundaries and four sixes along the way. Pacer Pat Cummins was the most successful among the Australian bowlers with figures of 2/54. Fellow pacer than Coulter-Nile and left-arm spinner Ashton Agar took a wicket each.
Finch, who registered his eighth ODI century, shared a 154-run second-wicket partnership with skipper Steve Smith (63 off 71 balls) as Australia, who have already lost the first two ODIs in the five-match series, put up a challenging target for the hosts.
Indian bowlers struggled for the better part of the innings but they fought back towards late to not allow Australia get a big score.
Finch, who missed the first two ODIs due to a calf injury, plundered 12 fours and four sixes.
The 30-year-old and David Warner (42 off 44 balls) provided a near-perfect start for the visitors. They put up 70 runs when Warner was bowled by medium pacer Hardik Pandya in the third ball of the 14th over.
Warner struggled early while Finch looked fluent from the onset. Finch's rhythm helped Warner as the left-hander took some time to get it going.
Warner too looked threatening but Pandya ended his stay -- which brought Smith to the crease. In-form Smith and Finch displayed calculative batting as they didn't restrain themselves from playing big shots. Mixing ones and twos with boundaries, Smith-Finch put India under pressure.
Later, pacer Bumrah removed Travis Head (4) and Peter Handscomb (3) to ensure that Australia struggled in scoring quick runs.
All-rounder Marcus Stoinis (27 not out) and Ashton Agar (9 not out) took Australia to 293/6. IANS
David Warner b Hardik Pandya 42, Aaron Finch c Kedar Jadhav b Kuldeep Yadav 124, Steven Smith c Jasprit Bumrah b Kuldeep Yadav 63, Glenn Maxwell st Mahendra Singh Dhoni b Yuzvendra Chahal 5, Travis Head b Jasprit Bumrah 4, Marcus Stoinis not out 27, Peter Handscomb c Manish Pandey b Jasprit Bumrah 3, Ashton Agar not out 9
Extras: (b 0, lb 2, w 14) 16; Total: in 50 overs 293/6
Fall of Wickets: 70-1, 224-2, 243-3, 243-4, 260-5, 275-6
Bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10-0-52-0, Jasprit Bumrah 10-0-52-2, Yuzvendra Chahal 10-0-54-1
Hardik Pandya 10-0-58-1, Kuldeep Yadav 10-0-75-2
Ajinkya Rahane lbw b Pat Cummins 70, Rohit Sharma c (sub)Hilton Cartwright b Coulter-Nile 71, Virat Kohli c Aaron Finch b Ashton Agar 28, Hardik Pandya c Kane Richardson b Pat Cummins 78, Kedar Jadhav c Peter Handscomb b Kane Richardson 2, Manish Pandey not out 36, MS Dhoni not out 3
Extras: (b 0, lb 3, w 3) 6; Total: in 47.5 overs 294/5
Fall of Wickets: 139-1, 147-2, 203-3, 206-4, 284-5
Bowling: Pat Cummins 10-0-54-2, than Coulter-Nile 10-0-58-1, Kane Richardson 8.5-0-45-1, Marcus Stoinis 8-0-61-0, Ashton Agar 10-0-71-1, Glenn Maxwell 1-0-2-0.