Marcus Stoinis couldn’t quite get the Aussies home.
Marcus Stoinis couldn’t quite get the Aussies home.

Final-over frustration leaves Aussies on brink

Man mountain Marcus Stoinis threatened to drag Australia to victory but fellow all-rounder Vijay Shankar proved a consummate closer in Nagpur, where India won a final-over ODI thriller by eight runs.

Virat Kohli, invited to bat first in the topsy-turvy clash that handed the hosts a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, scored 116 as India were bowled out for for 250 in 48.2 overs.

The tourists motored to 0-83 but Aaron Finch's dismissal on 37 prompted a collapse of 4-49 that was bookended by wickets from left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

Stoinis, demoted to No.6 in a reshuffled order following Shaun Marsh's return, strode to the crease and scored 52 under immense pressure as momentum continued to shift frequently.

Stoinis, on strike and with 11 runs required when the final over started, looked to attack medium-pacer Shankar's first delivery but was instead trapped lbw. The West Australian reviewed the on-field decision and it only delayed the inevitable.

Adam Zampa scored two to give his teammates hope of a miracle then was clean bowled the next ball, prompting wild celebrations from India.

"We're all hurting," Pat Cummins said, having snared 4-29 and dismissed Kohli.

"You always look back ... could you have done something different?


Nathan Coulter-Nile had no answer to Jasprit Bumrah.
Nathan Coulter-Nile had no answer to Jasprit Bumrah.

"When Marcus is there, you always feel like we're in with a chance. He's been the closer for the last couple of years, played some unbelievable knocks and assesses the game really well.

"It's really, really disappointing to lose but all is not lost, there's still three games to go."

Finch described Stoinis' innings as brilliant in the post-match ceremony, lamenting how nobody in Australia's top order posted a big score.

Shankar earlier scored 46 and was only bowling his second over of the match, having been hammered for 13 during his first over.

"It was an opportunity to redeem myself after the expensive over I bowled," said Shankar.

"I was up for the challenge... I wanted to just stick to the basics, hit the stumps from a hard length as there was a bit of reverse (swing).

Peter Handscomb (48) and Alex Carey (22) had helped Stoinis take the game deep to a point where Australia required 65 runs from the final 10 overs.

Carey became Yadav's third victim while Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins were out during the 46th over, a cracker from Jasprit Bumrah that cost just one run and ended with Stoinis turning down a single to keep strike.

Bumrah also conceded a single run during his final over, with a confident Stoinis backing himself to take 20 runs off the final two overs. The result means Australia will lose the series if they suffer another defeat in Ranchi on Friday.

Australia will take some solace from the fact that some 248 of India's 250 runs were scored when Kohli was at the crease, with Cummins insisting there are plenty of positives as the World Cup looms large.

"We're taking every single game deep," the paceman said.

"I feel like every time we walk on the field we're a real shot of winning a game, no matter the circumstances.

"We've still got quite a lot of cricket before the World Cup but I honestly think it's in a really good place."


Most ODI centuries


49-Sachin Tendulkar, India

40-Virat Kohli, India

30-Ricky Ponting, Australia

28-Sanath Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka

27-Hashim Amla, South Africa

25-AB de Villiers, South Africa

25-Chris Gayle, West Indies

25-Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka

22-Rohit Sharma, India

22-Sourav Ganguly, India

22-Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sri Lanka

News Corp Australia

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