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Magnificent Manish guides India to Victory

Manish Pandey struck a brilliant unbeaten 104 as India stopped Australia’s push for a clean-sweep with a record run chase to notch up a thrilling consolation six-wicket victory in the fifth and final cricket one-dayer in Sydney on Saturday. Despite this victory, Australia won the high-scoring series by 4-1 margin. Chasing a steep target of 331, India’s batting rode on Pandey’s maiden ODI ton and a superb opening stand of 123 between Rohit Sharma (99) and Shikhar Dhawan (78) to overhaul the score with just two balls to spare, setting up the record for the highest run chase against the home team on Australian soil. After having bungled a similar chase in Canberra , the Indians made sure that they did not suffer any catastrophic collapse today with Pandey being the glue that held one end. India after cruising along nicely at one stage, were left to pick 13 of the last over which was bowled by Mitchell Marsh. He bowled the first delivery wide as the equation came down to 12 off six balls. MSD, who was struggling to middle the ball throughout the entire innings cleared the fence off a low full-toss bowled by Marsh but was out off the very next delivery leaving a tricky six runs to be scored off 4 deliveries. Pandey, however kept his cool as he steered a wide yorker for a boundary to keep it down to 2 off 3 balls. He also completed a magnificent ton in the process. Indian bowlers’ horrendous run Down Under continued as Australia rode on centuries from Mitchell Marsh and David Warner in another dominant batting display to pile up 330 for seven in the fifth and final cricket ODI in Sydney on Saturday. Chasing a 5-0 whitewash, Australian looked on course for more but for the last two overs from debutant Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma, which got them just seven runs  at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Opener Warner laid the foundation with 122 off 113 balls, while Marsh remained unbeaten on a brisk 102 off 84 deliveries after India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni asked the home team to take first strike. This was the fourth time in the series Australia crossed the 300-plus mark, and Marsh’s maiden ton in this format. Warner struck nine fours and three sixes, while Marsh found the fence nine times and cleared it twice. Australia lost last match’s centurion Aaron Finch in the first over to Ishant, following which Warner shared a half-century stand with the in-form skipper Steve Smith. Smith’s dismissal to Bumrah, his maiden wicket, was followed quickly by those of George Bailey and Shaun Marsh. Warner then steadied the ship by putting on a valuable 118 runs for the fifth wicket with Marsh at just seven runs an over.Having completed his century, a tired-looking Warner got out while trying to slash Ishant, managing to give a catch to an agile Ravindra Jadeja. Then came another crucial partnership of 85 runs for the sixth wicket between Marsh and Matthew Wade (36 off 27 balls), paving the way for another big total by the home side that has already chased down two 300-plus totals in the series so far. Bumrah got his maiden international wicket as Smith was caught at midwicket in the 12th over, off a ball that jumped high on him. At the other end, Dhawan got rid of Bailey (6) in the 15th over as Australia were under considerable pressure at that stage. 78/3 became 117/4 in the 22nd over, as Shaun Marsh (7) was run-out, the ball deflecting off Gurkeerat Mann (0-17). But Marsh then joined Warner in the middle, and the duo added important runs to lift Australia from the hole they were in. In fact they did not curb their free scoring as the run-rate continued unabated with the 200-mark coming up in the 34th over, even as Warner had reached his century off 100 balls in the 36th over. The partnership was then broken in the 39th over, Warner caught at backward point off Ishant, and Australia were placed at 249/5 in the 40th over. Marsh then took over the finishing responsibilities and was given able support by Matthew Wade (36) as the duo pushed the score past the 300-mark in the 46th over, putting on 85 runs for the 6th wicket While Ravindra Jadeja (0-46) bowled with control, Umesh Yadav (1-82) proved to be expensive once again bowling two sides of wickets. What do you expect MSD to do when his main bowler bowls rubbish on two sides of the wicket.  What more can you ask from him? . MSD  wants to bat up the order but he can't because there is not enough experience when it comes to the lower order.. . So he continues as a finisher. He has been a brilliant and successful leader. In the end the key moments were Bumrah and Ishant controlling the runs in the last 2 overs and Manish Pandey brilliant fielding ensured India had less to chase. With this consolation victory, India retained their No.2 position in the ICC ODI rankings

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