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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Australia snatch thrilling win in Mohali despite Dhoni ton

Australia snatch thrilling win in Mohali despite Dhoni ton

Last updated on: October 19, 2013 22:41 IST

Australia rode on James Faulkner's brutal unbeaten 29-ball 64 to take Australia to thrilling 4-wicket win in Mohali on Saturday.

Chasing 304 for victory, Faulkner helped Australia chase down the target with three balls to spare and take a 2-1 lead in the seven-match Test series.

Australia's James Faulkner celebrates after winning the 3rd ODI in Mohali on SaturdayAdam Voges made a valuable contribution of 76 not out from 88 balls, which was studded with seven fours.

A costly over by out-of-form pacer Ishant Sharma -- he gave 30 runs in the 48th over -- turned the tide in Australia's favour after the Indians seemed cruising comfortably.

It was a commendable show by the Australians and the Indians paid the price of the lack of quality death bowlers in a high scoring match on a good batting track at the PCA Stadium.

It was not to be India's day as Faulkner hit four sixes and a four in the 48th over bowled by Ishant to turn the match on its head. R Ashwin bowled a very good penultimate over just giving away five runs as Australia needed nine runs from the final over.

Faulkner ended the match in style with a six in the third ball of the final over as Australia reached 304 for six to win the match to the disappointment of the capacity crowd.

The two sides now moved to Ranchi for the fourth ODI on October 23.

Earlier, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's scored a blistering unbeaten 139. The India captain produced a magnificent late onslaught as he rescued India from a precarious 76 for four at one stage to single-handedly take the score to 303 for 9 after the home side were asked to bat.

His unbeaten knock came from 121 balls with the help of 12 fours and five sixes. Virat Kohli was the other notable contributor with a 73-ball 68.

Put in to bat, India lost openers Rohit Sharma (11) and Shikhar Dhawan (8) cheaply.

With India two down for 37, the onus was on Suresh Raina and Kohli to bail the hosts out of trouble.

But in the 13th over, Johnson struck to send back Raina, caught at slip by Shane Watson, before dismissing Yuvraj Singh off his very next delivery, for a first-ball duck. It was heartbreak for the fans of local hero, who edged an away going delivery to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

Raina and Yuvraj's dismissals in consecutive balls led to the run flow drying up.

Both Kohli and Dhoni adopted a cautious approach at the beginning as the duo confined themselves to scoring just in singles and twos. There was no boundary or a six hit for as many as eight overs.

Kohli broke the shackles in the 24th over and slowly but steadily completed his half-century as help the team rebuild. Although Kohli and Dhoni failed to accelerate the scoring rate, they kept the scoreboard ticking. Then Glenn Maxwell dismissed Kohli for 68 off 73 balls, his innings laced with nine fours.

Johnson then left the hosts reeling at 154 for six with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja's wicket.

With most of the batsmen back in the pavilion, Dhoni showed a lot of character as he played with responsibility. He waited patiently for the loose deliveries to go for the fours and sixes.

Dhoni, mostly picked on James Faulkner and Watson. He began an over of Faulkner with two consecutive fours and then topped it up with a boundary and a six in Watson's over to release the pressure.

In the able company of Ashwin, he took India beyond the 200-run mark.

He tried to keep the strike so that the lower order had to face lesser number of balls, and almost single-handedly guided the team to a 300-plus total in the end.

Dhoni stole 21 runs in the last over, which was bowled by Faulkner. He played his trademark helicopter shot before hitting another six over the fielder at long off and a four to end the over. 

Image: Australia's James Faulkner celebrates after winning the 3rd ODI in Mohali on Saturday

Photograph: BCCI