RANCHI – Opener Usman Khawaja smashed his maiden one-day international century to guide Australia to 313/5 in the third match against India on Friday.
The tourists rode on a 193-run opening stand between Khawaja, who hit 104, and skipper Aaron Finch, who made 93, to put up a challenging total after being put into bat first in Ranchi.
The right-left batting combination of Finch and Khawaja attacked the Indian bowlers with a string of boundaries as Australia reached 100 in the 17th over.
Finch, whose last significant one-day international score was a 100 in England in June 2018, struck form with his 19th ODI 50.
But he fell short of the three-figure mark after being trapped lbw off Kuldeep Yadav, who took three wickets.
Finch’s 99-ball knock was laced with 10 fours and 3 sixes.
Khawaja, who hit 11 fours and a six in his 113-ball knock, kept up the pace during a 46-run second-wicket stand with the in-form Glenn Maxwell, who made 47.
Khawaja fell to paceman Mohammed Shami and Maxwell, who smashed three fours and three sixes in his 31-ball blitz, was run out by wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Yadav soon tried to check Australia’s surge with his left-arm wrist spin as he sent back Shaun Marsh, for seven, and Peter Handscomb, for nought, in the space of three deliveries.
But Marcus Stoinis, on 31, and Alex Carey, on 21, put on an unbeaten 50-run stand to take Australia well past the 300-run mark.
Australia need a win to keep the five-match series alive after the hosts won the first two matches.AFP