Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

Usman Khawaja ecstatic as Australia set up UAE tour with ODI series victory in India

Left-hander hits second hundred of series as tourists come from behind to win 3-2 in Delhi ahead of five-match series against Pakistan

Australia came from behind to win a five-match one-day international series for the first time in their history. Altaf Qadri / AP Photo
Australia came from behind to win a five-match one-day international series for the first time in their history. Altaf Qadri / AP Photo

Opener Usman Khawaja on Wednesday credited teamwork for Australia's come-from-behind 3-2 series victory over India after his sublime century helped the tourists win the fifth one-day international by 35 runs.

Khawaja's 100 off 106 balls guided the tourists to 272-9 and their bowlers combined to dismiss India for 237 at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla ground.

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa claimed three wickets while pacemen Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson and Marcus Stoinis took two each to set up Australia's first win in a five-match ODI series after being 2-0 down. It has set them up well for what could be a mouth-watering five-match ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE, starting on March 22.

But the left-handed Khawaja, who hit 10 fours and two sixes in his match-winning knock, stood out for the tourists with his second ton of the series.

His scores of 50, 38, 104 and 91 in the previous matches made him the highest run-getter in the five matches above India captain Virat Kohli.

"It's a lot of fun scoring hundreds and even more fun winning games. Very good to come back from 0-2 down, and never easy to beat India at home," an ecstatic Khawaja said.

"Our spinners, and our batters adapted really well and at the end of the day, it was a really good team performance. Even when we lost the first two games, we had a good vibe in the dressing room," he added.

The left-right batting pair of Khawaja and Handscomb stayed firm during a 99-run stand to lay the foundation of their team's total after captain Aaron Finch was out on 27.

Before the series against India, Australia opener Usman Khawaja had a sum total of zero ODI hundreds in his career. Altaf Qadri / AP Photo
Before the series against India, Australia opener Usman Khawaja had a sum total of zero ODI hundreds in his career. Altaf Qadri / AP Photo

'Passion, hunger and heart'

Khawaja got the second hundred of his ODI career with a single off Kuldeep Yadav as he waved the bat to an applauding Australian dressing room.

He lost his wicket in the next over to paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who returned figures of 3-48, with a drive to cover and Kohli took a safe catch.

Ravindra Jadeja returned to get the dangerous Glenn Maxwell for one and Handscomb was caught behind off Shami as Australia slipped to 182-4.

The Aussies kept losing wickets but Richardson played a useful cameo of 29 off 21 deliveries before being run out on the final ball of the 50th over.

In reply, India were reduced to 132-6 but Kedar Jadhav, who made 44, and Bhuvneshwar threatened to pull off the chase during their 91-run stand for the seventh wicket.

Cummins got Bhuvneshwar caught and bowled for 46 and Richardson sent back Jadhav to silence the home crowd.

Earlier Cummins drew first blood after getting Shikhar Dhawan caught behind for 12 on a pacy away-going delivery.

But it was Stoinis who got Kohli's prized wicket after the star batsman edged a cross-seam delivery to wicketkeeper Alex Carey. He was on 20.

Spinner Nathan Lyon and Zampa then combined to get a wicket each and the hosts slipped to 120-4 midway into the innings.

Rohit Sharma, who survived a dropped chance on 53, could not capitalise on the spill by Glenn Maxwell off Zampa as he got out to the same bowler three runs later.

"Australia played with more passion, hunger and heart and they deserved to win," Kohli said. "They were brave in pressure situations compared to our game, especially in the last three games, the way they handled the pressure, they really deserved to win."

It was India's final ODI before the World Cup in England and Wales starting May 30.

Updated: March 13, 2019 10:52 PM

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