Faulkner blasts Oz to victory
James Faulkner (Gallo Images)
Mohali - James Faulkner hit a blistering 29-ball 64 to set up a four-wicket win for Australia over India in the third ODI in Mohali on Saturday.
The visitors made a valiant attempt to chase down the score, but with wickets falling at regular intervals, it always looked to be just beyond them.
When Brad Haddin departed, Australia still needed 81 off 55, with Faulkner - still smarting from Mahendra Singh Dhoni's last over onslaught of 21 runs - entering to join Adam Voges.
However, the 48th over turned the match on its head, when Faulkner blasted Ishant Sharma for 30 runs (including four sixes) to reduce the required rate to a run-a-ball, and the pair finished off the match with three balls in hand.
Voges was not out on 76.
Earlier, a magnificent century from India's captain, Dhoni, helped his team recover from a shaky start to post 303 for nine after being asked to bat first.
The hosts lost the bulk of their top-order inside 13 overs, being 74 for four, as Clint McKay, Shane Watson and especially Mitchell Johnson bowled with venom and control, accounting for three wickets with short deliveries.
Virat Kohli and Dhoni put on 72 runs before Kohli feathered Glenn Maxwell through to Haddin behind the stumps for 68.
Dhoni, however, soaked up the pressure and posted his ninth ODI century - the first by an Indian batsman in Mohali - off only 107 balls.
In true Dhoni-fashion, he took the Australian bowlers apart in the final overs, adding 37 off only 14 deliveries after reaching his ton, to take the score past 300, to finish unbeaten on 139 from 121, including 12 fours and five sixes.
Johnson was the star for the visitors, finishing with 4-46 off his 10 overs, but Watson has a less-than-stellar day, pummelled for 74 runs off eight overs, with only one wicket to show for his effort.
The fourth encounter in the seven-match series will be in Ranchi on Wednesday, October 23.