Turner blitz seals record chase to set up decider

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ustralia gunned down 359 to seal the fourth ODI v India, leaving the series level 2-2 heading into the final game of the series.

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It is the highest total ever chased against India, and Australia’s fifth-highest chase of all time.

Australia kept their hopes of a series win alive
Australia kept their hopes of a series win alive

It looked for a time as if Australia might be tasked with chasing far more as Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan added 193 for the first wicket. The former fell five runs shy of his 23rd ODI century, but the latter carried onto a career-best 143, a welcome return to form after going 10 international innings without a half-century.

He was second out, bowled by Pat Cummins as he aimed an missed a big shot over midwicket, and Virat Kohli fell soon after, edging behind of Jhye Richardson for seven.

Shikhar Dhawan made his career-best ODI score
Shikhar Dhawan made his career-best ODI score

Rishabh Pant’s 24-ball 36 and Vijay Shankar’s 15-ball 26 gave India vital late impetus, but for the most part Australia won the latter exchanges. Cummins, who claimed his maiden five-wicket haul, was particularly impressive.

At one point India went 21 balls without a boundary, and though Jasprit Bumrah gave the innings a final flourish by hitting his only delivery for six, the feeling was that Australia weren’t out of the game.

Pat Cummins claimed his maiden ODI five-for
Pat Cummins claimed his maiden ODI five-for

Still, 358/6 looked plenty as the tourists slumped to 12/2 four overs into the reply. Aaron Finch was bowled second ball by a booming Bhuvneshwar Kumar inswinger, while Shaun Marsh was yorked by Bumrah for six.

Usman Khawaja, fresh off his maiden ODI ton in the previous game, and Peter Handscomb then put on a superb 192-run stand to put Australia into a strong position. Khawaja top-edged a pull shot to Kuldeep Yadav at fine leg for 91, narrowly failing to notch up his second ODI hundred two days after his first, but Handscomb plowed on to 117, his first three-figure score in ODIs for Australia.

Peter Handscomb made his maiden ODI century
Peter Handscomb made his maiden ODI century

Glenn Maxwell kept up the momentum with an inventive 13-ball 23, and though he fell with less than 14 overs to play, there was still time for Ashton Turner to play the innings of the day.

He smashed his eighth and ninth balls for four, off Kuldeep, before muscling the same bowler down the ground for his first six. But it was when Handscomb fell, with Australia still needing nearly 10 an over, that the fireworks really started.

Ashton Turner's maiden half-century earned him the Player of the Match award
Ashton Turner's maiden half-century earned him the Player of the Match award

With six overs left, Australia needed 62 runs, and with India almost into the tail, the game was in the balance. Three overs, four sixes, four fours, and 54 runs later, it was as good as done. All but two of the fours came from Turner’s blade, with the highlight of his innings a scoop over fine leg of which AB de Villiers would have been proud.

In truth, the entire knock was worthy of one of the greats of the game, as Turner finished with 84* off 43 balls, the Player of the Match award and a chance for a series win secured.

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