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Finch, Khawaja fire as Aussies post 5-313

Australia have posted a total of 5-313 in their third ODI against India, thanks largely to a 193-run opening stand between Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja.

Finch, Khawaja fire as Aussies post 5-313

Australia have posted a total of 5-313 in their third ODI against India, thanks largely to a 193-run opening stand between Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja.

NATHAN COULTER-NILE of the WA XI during the Ashes series Tour Match between Western Australia XI and England at WACA in Perth, Australia.
NATHAN COULTER-NILE of the WA XI during the Ashes series Tour Match between Western Australia XI and England at WACA in Perth, Australia. Picture:Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

Aaron Finch returned to form and Usman Khawaja posted his maiden ODI century as Australia finished 5-313 in Friday's clash with India, producing their biggest total since 2017.

Down 2-0 in the five-match series and with serious questions being asked as to how they would regularly compile winning scores at this year's World Cup, Finch and Khawaja excelled under the pump.


Finch (93) and Khawaja (104) laid the platform for a monster total in their 193-run opening stand, which spanned 191 balls and was almost double Australia's previous highest opening partnership during David Warner's suspension.

Their rollick in Ranchi was followed by an inspired fightback from India that kept the total to something far less imposing than what it could have been.

Khawaja's mistimed pull shot triggered a momentum-shifting collapse of 4-24 that also featured the dismissals of Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb.

Maxwell, who was promoted to first drop for the third time in a 93-ODI career, smacked three sixes in a quick-fire 47 and looked in ominous touch until being needlessly run out in the 42nd over.

Maxwell raged upon his return to the dressing room, throwing his helmet and bat.

Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who earlier trapped Finch lbw, removed Marsh and Handscomb in the 44th over to finish with figures of 3-64.

An unbeaten 50-run stand between Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey ensured Australia breached the 300 mark, something they failed to do in all six ODIs at home this summer.

Despite the middle-order collapse, it was Australia's highest ODI total since posting 5-334 against India in 2017.

The form of Khawaja, who also top-scored in the series-opening ODI, has given selectors plenty to think about.

Warner is expected to open with Finch later this year in England, as was the case during Australia's triumphant World Cup campaign at home in 2015.

But leaving Khawaja out of the team will be hard to justify on current form.

Khawaja, who this time last year was still battling perceptions he struggled against spin, reverse-swept Ravindra Jadeja for a couple of boundaries and effortlessly deposited a well-flighted delivery from Yadav into the stands.

The elegant left-hander was dropped by Shikhar Dhawan on 18, when the reverse-sweep should have been his downfall.

Khawaja took advantage of the reprieve, bringing up his maiden ODI century in 151 mins.

Finch, having failed to reach 50 in 21 consecutive white-ball innings for Australia, ended his slump but was denied a 12th ODI hundred.

AAP


AAP




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