Starc leads Australia to victory


Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Mitchell Starc claimed career-best figures of six for 43 as Australia defeated India by four wickets to make it two wins from two in the Carlton Tri-Series – but it was far closer than it should have been.

Chasing 268 for victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia were cruising at 216 for two in the 40th over with Aaron Finch and Steve Smith well set at the crease.

However, the hosts then lost four wickets for 32 runs, including those of Finch for 96 and Smith for 47, as India fought back to set up a tense finish that left Australia still needing 15 runs off the final two overs.

Brad Haddin and James Faulkner ensured Australia were not left with egg on their faces, though, as 16 runs were scored off the penultimate over from Bhuvneshwar Kumar to end the contest with six balls to spare.

With Starc shining with the ball and Australia suffering a collapse with the bat before easing over the line, the match was almost identical to Friday’s Tri-Series opener between the home side and England, which George Bailey’s men won by three wickets.

However, while World Cup favourites Australia still clearly have areas they can improve on, they have plenty of positives to reflect on as well.

High amongst them is the form of left-armer Starc, who followed up his four for 42 against England with an even more devastating display on Sunday, as India were limited to 267 for eight after winning the toss.

Among Starc’s victims were opener Rohit Sharma, who struck a superb 138 off 139 balls, and Suresh Raina, who was the only other Indian batsman to pass 20, making 51.

Sharma hit nine fours and four sixes in his 139-ball knock – his sixth ODI ton – and shared in a 126-run stand with Raina, but India struggled to build on that solid platform as they were pegged back in the final overs.

India will feel they should have been closer to the 300-run mark, and might have wondered if even that score would have been enough as Finch, Smith, Shane Watson (41) and David Warner (24) powered Australia past 200.

And in the end, Australia did make their target with a bit of room to spare, but it was still far less comfortable than they would have liked.

Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search