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Rediff.com  » Cricket » PHOTOS: Maxwell blasts Australia to ODI series victory at MCG

PHOTOS: Maxwell blasts Australia to ODI series victory at MCG

Last updated on: January 17, 2016 17:17 IST

Images from the third One-Day International between Australia and India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Sunday.

Glenn Maxwell

IMAGE: Glenn Maxwell hits a six during the third ODI in Melbourne. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Glenn Maxwell blasted a splendid 83-ball 96 to lift Australia to a three-wicket victory against India that also helped the hosts seal the five-match ODI series 3-0, in Melbourne, on Sunday.

- Scorecard

Batting first, India scored a competitive 295 for six in 50 overs with Virat Kohli scoring a run-a-ball 117.

But India's bowlers once again struggled to make an impression as Australia rode on Maxwell's counter-attacking innings to romp home with 1.1 overs to spare at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for their third straight victory in the series.

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Virat Kohli celebrates his century. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Earlier, after being put into bat in a must-win game to stay alive in the five-match series, India lost Rohit Sharma, who had hit centuries in the last two matches, for six after he was caught behind off Kane Richardson. Kohli in the company of Shikhar Dhawan got India's innings back on track after the initial jot.

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Virat Kohli celebrates his century. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Kohli, who stroked 117 from as many balls, got good support from Shikhar Dhawan, (68) and Ajinkya Rahane (50). During the course of his innings, Kohli also broke the record to become the fastest player to go past 7000 runs in ODIs also the fastest to register 24 centuries in the 50-over format.

Dhawan finally got back among the runs as he put on a 119-run second-wicket stand with Kohli to rally India after the early dismissal of Rohit.

Shikhar Dhawan

IMAGE: Shikhar Dhawan hits out. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Kohli then found Rahane's company as the duo managed a 109-run third-wicket partnership to boost India's score in the middle overs.

The visitors sprung a couple surprises in the afternoon, when they handed debuts to both Gurkeerat Singh Mann and Rishi Dhawan. Ravichandran Ashwin and Manish Pandey were excluded from the playing eleven as skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is playing his 300th international match as captain -- only Ricky Ponting and Stephen Fleming have led in more games, brought in a couple of all-rounders to bolster his bowling attack.

Ajinkya Rahane

IMAGE: Ajinkya Rahane bats during the third ODI at MCG. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Kohli got to his fifty in 51 deliveries, while Dhawan brought up his 16th ODI half-century off 76 balls. India's 100-mark came up in the 22nd over earlier, while they also brought up their 100-partnership off 120 balls.

India looked to carry on this momentum forward, but lost the wicket Dhawan, who was taking a few risks to make up for his slow start. He was bowled by John Hastings (4-58) against the run of play, walking across his stumps in the 27th over.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

IMAGE: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hits out. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

It was the highest second-wicket partnership for India against Australia at the MCG, beating the previous best of 101 between Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar in January 1981.

In the 40th over, India were placed at 207 for two while Rahane got to his 15th ODI half-century -- and a consecutive one after Brisbane -- off 54 balls.

Kohli reached his century off 105 balls in the 43rd over. The two batsmen then cut loose, and Kohli especially was looking to play some big shots, when their partnership was broken in the 45th over.

IMAGE: John Hastings (left) is congratulated by captain Steve Smith after taking the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Rahane was caught in the deep off Hastings, and his dismissal put brakes on the Indian scoring once again, as Kohli too was out caught, at covers off the same bowler.

Captain Dhoni slammed a quickfire 23 from nine balls before he became Hastings' fourth victim of the innings, while debutant Gurkeerat Mann was bowled by James Faulkner for eight.

Shaun Marsh

IMAGE: Shaun Marsh hits through the off-side. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia got off to a flying start in their run chase with Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh putting on 48 runs for the opening wicket in just seven overs before the former was dismissed for 21.

Finch, who was dropped on 20, could not make most of the lifeline and was caught behind off Yadav, in the eighth over.

Captain Steven Smith stroked a fluent 41 from 43 balls, putting on 112 runs with Marsh to keep the Australians going at a good rate in the middle overs. He added 64 runs with Marsh, who scored a second consecutive half-century playing in place of David Warner, and the 100-mark coming up breezily in the 16th over.

IMAGE: Ravindra Jadeja (2nd right) celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of Steve Smith. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Against the run of play then, in the 19th over, Ravindra Jadeja (2-49) got one to spin away from him, and he edged it to slip with Ajinkya Rahane happily accepting the catch. His dismissal brought India back into the game with George Bailey (23) also dismissed by the same bowler courtesy of a smart stumping by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the 27th over.

Dhoni showed another quick thinking and brilliant work with the gloves when he ran out Mitchell Marsh (17) off an Yadav (2-68) throw in the 36th over. In between, Shaun Marsh was out caught pulling off Ishant in the 30th over. And when Matthew Wade (6) holed out against the same bowler in the 39th over, Australia were in a spot of bother at 215 for six.

Glenn Maxwell

IMAGE: Glenn Maxwell celebrates after completing his half-century. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

But Maxwell played a superb hand, with an uncharacteristic watchful innings to score his 13th ODI fifty. In doing so, he put on 80 runs off just 63 balls for the seventh wicket with James Faulkner (21) to take the hosts close to a deserved victory.

He took 15 runs off the 43rd over by Yadav changing the momentum of the game. Thereafter, the equation came down to a very manageable run-a-ball, and the duo took Australia home -- and to the series win -- without much fuss.