India v Australia ODIs - Men's
Terrific Turner leads Australia to victory
Ice-man Ashton Turner guides Aussies to a record ODI run-chase that levels series 2-2
Sam Ferris at the PCA Stadium, Mohali
11 March 2019, 09:34 AM AEST
A blazing cameo from rookie Ashton Turner delivered Australia their greatest-ever ODI run-chase on Sunday night in Mohali to beat India by four wickets and level the series at 2-2.
Set a gigantic target of 359 after Shikhar Dhawan (143) and Rohit Sharma (95) mauled Australia's bowlers, the visitors reeled in the total through Peter Handscomb's maiden ODI century of 117, Usman Khawaja's 91 and Turner's incredible 84 not out from 43 balls to force a decider in Delhi on Wednesday.
After Handscomb and Khawaja put on 192 for the third wicket, Australia still needed 98 off the final 10 overs to pull off the unlikely win.
Enter Turner, who was only playing due to a thumb injury to Marcus Stoinis, and with gloveman Alex Carey providing ample support he pummelled India's attack all over PCA Stadium.
In all he hit five fours and six sixes to mow down the target with 13 balls to spare.
The win was Australia's highest ODI run chase, the fifth highest for any team and the highest ever against India, and sets up a tantalising series decider on Wednesday.
While the pulsating finish will be what is remembered, the pursuit started horribly for Australia. Khawaja and Handscomb came together with the score at 2-12 in the fourth over with captain Aaron Finch (0) and veteran Shaun Marsh (6) both back in the pavilion.
Together, the pair played simple but supremely effective one-day cricket to get their side back in the contest; they ticked the scoreboard over at will, hit the bad ball to the boundary and swung the momentum back to parity, then towards the visitors.
Milestones came thick and fast – first the 50-run partnership, then individual half-centuries, the century stand in there somewhere, then onto the 150-run partnership.
Khawaja was ahead in the race to a century but when Handscomb hit back-to-back sixes from off-spinner Kedar Jadhav he entered drinks on 99, with the score 2-204 after 32 overs.
The interval came at the worst possible time for the pair and stifled their momentum, with Khawaja caught hooking immediately following the resumption to depart for 91, another terrific knock after his match-winning 104 on Friday.
Undeterred by the loss of his partner, Handscomb kept his composure to post his maiden ODI ton, although the 100th run came off his body rather than bat but that detail was not recorded in the scorebook.
Glenn Maxwell came and went in a blink of an eye for 23 and used up Australia's sole referral when he reviewed his lbw decision against wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
Handscomb's knock ended when he skied Yuzvendra Chahal to long-off but that set the stage for Turner, who proved why he's regarded as one of the most dangerous players in Australian domestic cricket.
The 26-year-old right-hander took 19 off Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the 45th over then a massive six off pace ace Japsrit Bumrah an over later.
Jadhav had a chance to remove Turner on 74 but spilled a chance in the deep before Dhawan coughed up a simple catch a mid-off, sparing the Western Australian twice in one over.
Critical in the chase was Carey, who made a crucial 21 before the keeper-batsman fell with two runs required to leave Turner to hit the winning runs.
The game was set up by Dhawan and Rohit, whose 193-run opening stand was the highest for the first wicket at Mohali and the same total Khawaja and Finch posted in Ranchi two days ago.
With no swing and seam movement apparent on a pitch described as a "belter" by captain Virat Kohli, India's batsmen cashed in and hammered Australia's bowling attack.
Dhawan burst out of the gates to reach 50 inside the 14th over with nine boundaries, as Rohit happily played second fiddle.
But once Rohit posted ODI half-century No.40 he quickly caught up to his partner and the race was on for who would get to their century first.
With Dhawan on 96, Rohit went for glory needing five for three figures, but his pull shot fell about 20 metres short of six and into the hands of Handscomb at deep mid-wicket.
An over later Dhawan achieved his 16th ODI hundred and celebrated in trademark style with both arms, helmet off and a smile to his teammates.
He hit his next 18 balls for 41 before he was castled by Cummins aiming to launch his fourth six into the fans of the packed western stands, who, along with the rest of the crowd, rose to applaud the opener as he left the field.
While a scoreline of 7-108 from the final 12.2 overs might look like bad reading from an Australian perspective, the tourists did a remarkable job to limit the damage.
Cummins led the way with four of the final seven wickets as India's middle to lower order put together partnership after partnership that threatened to take the score close to 400, only for a wicket to fall.
Jhye Richardson picked up 3-85 to be Australia's most expensive bowler but he did take the key wicket of Kohli (7) for the fourth time in five innings, the world's top ODI batsman registering just his second single-figure score in his past 31 innings.
Cummins took two wickets in the final over – his fifth wicket a return catch that bobbled out of his hand after he rolled over to complete the catch – but his last ball went for six off the blade of Bumrah.
That maximum took the score to 9-358, a total which looked like enough until Turner played the innings of his career to date.
India XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Yuzvendra Chalal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah.
Australia XI: Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey (wk), Jhye Richardson, Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa.
Qantas Tour of India
First T20: Australia won by three wickets
Second T20: Australia won by seven wickets
First ODI: India won by six wickets
Second ODI: India won by eight runs
Third ODI: Australia won by 32 runs
Fourth ODI: Australia win by four wickets
Fifth ODI: March 13, Delhi