‘Haunted’ Aussies’ 20-year streak snapped

 

Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey has hit Australia's second fastest half century in a World Cup, but it was all in vain as India completed a 36 run win at the Oval.

India kept wickets in hand and romped to 5/352 from its 50 overs, slamming 116 runs in it final 10 overs to reach the score.

It snaps a 10-game unbeaten run, dating back to the series against India in India in early March.

The Australia were set a record chase at The Oval with the previous highest score in a successful chase 322.

But the Aussies fell short, with Adam Zampa the final wicket to fall on the final ball of the 50 overs, as Australia suffered its first loss of the 2019 World Cup.

It was also the first time Australia has lost a World Cup chase since 1999.

Australia started its chase slowly as the batsmen tried to keep wickets in hand.

David Warner hit the slowest ODI fifty of his international career, beating his fifty in the match against Afghanistan earlier in the tournament.

The opener danced down the track but was beaten in flight by the leg-spinner and holed out at mid-wicket for 56 off 84 balls.

Steve Smith also hit 69 off 70 balls before sparking a collaspe of 3/6, effectively ending the chase.

But Carey didn't give up hope, hitting a 25-ball fifty, Australia's second fastest of all-time behind Glenn Maxwell's 21-ball half-century against Afghanistan in the 2015 World Cup.

Alex Carey made up for two dropped catches.
Alex Carey made up for two dropped catches.

Australian captain Aaron Finch said the India were able to get too many runs late in the innings.

"We didn't bowl our best stuff, but saying that when you have wickets in hand and you've got damaging players to come, we struggled to get wickets early on," Finch said. "When you've got expereicned guys and powerful guys that are coming in and can get themselves in before they have to go, it makes it tough to stop anyone."

But Australia were put to the sword by India after three dropped catches, which hurt the side.

Rohit Sharma was dropped in the second over in a tough chance that went to hand for Nathan Coulter-Nile before going on to 57, while Hardik Pandya was dropped first ball by Alex Carey before taking the game from Australia with a quick 48 from 27 balls.

Carey also dropped a tough chance off MS Dhoni which flow high above him off a top edge.

India slammed 116 off the final 10 overs, which did have the highlight of a stunning grab from Marcus Stoinis on his follow through.

Fox Cricket commentator Kerry O'Keeffe said the dropped catches were vital.

"Australia had been offered 11 catching chances in the first two games and they took all 11 and they shelved two or three today, Sharma early on and Pandya on nought," O'Keeffe said during the inning break. "Those catches may haunt them because at the 35 over mark, India were 1/206, they got 146 in the next 15 overs and that's 30 over par."

 

Warney said this wasn't that hard from Alex Carey.
Warney said this wasn't that hard from Alex Carey.

Overall is was a strong fielding performance from Australia but the moments that mattered weren't taken by the Aussies and gave India the chance to get away.

Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan's 117 off 109 balls gave India the perfect platform before Virat Kohli took over, managing the total with 82 off 77 balls before he was dismissed off the second last ball of the innings.

Shane Warne said India took full advantage of a glaring bowling issue.

"Pat Cummins only went for 55, which leaves 300 for the other 40 overs, that's big numbers," he said.

Mitchell Starc set an unwanted record as the most expensive bowler off his 10 overs, going for 74 runs, while Adam Zampa was taken for 50 runs in just six overs and Marcus Stoinis took 2/62 from seven overs.

O'Keeffe said the Aussies need to score those runs off the Indian spinners to have any chance.

The other turning point of the match was Finch's dismissal with the opener run out after playing the aggressor with 36 off 35 balls before being run out.

Finch made a slight hesitation and was made to pay by Kedar Jadhav's pinpoint throw to find him just short.

The dismissal undid a lot of the work he did with David Warner to put on a 61-run opening partnership.

Finch was absolutely filthy after the horror mix-up, storming off the ground without even waiting for confirmation from the third umpire.

"I hate getting run out more than anything," Finch said. "You back your partner's call, I could have said no but it's just one of those things. We were looking to pick up the tempo but that happens in a game of cricket. There are 10 ways to get out and I found one of them."

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Smith surprisingly came in at first drop and scored a 72-run partnership with Warner.

Khawaja came in at four, hitting 42 off 39, while Glenn Maxwell and Carey provided the late innings heroics but no one was able to convert their start to a big score.

Indian captain Virat Kohli said his side played "a perfect game", putting Australia behind the game with Shikhar Dhawan's 117 off 109 balls and Kohli's own 82 off 77.


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