India clinch three-match ODI series as Iyer, Gill dazzle

By BD Naarayannkar

Indore, Sep 24 (UNI) The centuries by Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill, while hurricane fifty by Suryakumar Yadav powered India to an emphatic 99-run victory for India as they clinched the 3-match series 2-0 at Holkar Cricket Stadium here on Sunday.

After setting a mammoth target of 400, India were clearly the favourites to win the match, and they won the game by a massive margin eventually.

It was noteworthy that India could post such a total without the services of senior pros like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya.

Having sent in to bat, Ruturaj Gaikwad (8) set the tone by hammering a couple of boundaries in the first over. However, Josh Hazlewood got rid off him caught behind Alex Carey, reducing India to 16/1 in 4th over.

Iyer walked in and unleashed terror from the very beginning, looking to score runs freely along with Gill as his partner. The duo had a 200-run partnership for the second wicket as they wrecked the inexperienced Aussie attack. There was a rain interruption for 40-odd minutes, but did not break the focus of Iyer and Gill. They frequently kept plundering runs and smashing boundaries.

In the process, Gill (104 off 97 balls with 6 boundaries and 4 sixes)and Iyer (105 off 90 balls with 11 boundaries and 3 sixes) notched up centuries, laying the platform for KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan to keep the board ticking.

Kishan (31 off 18 with 2 boundaries and 2 sixes) lost his wicket, and it was left to Suryakumar to up the ante. He did not disappoint and entertained the spectators with his 360 degree batting display. He clobbered four consecutive boundaries in an over of Cameron Green, putting Australia under the pump.

And although Rahul was dismissed after completing fifty, SKY made sure to strike regular boundaries as he took India closer to the 400-run mark with his fantastic unbeaten 72 in 37 balls.

The Aussies lost a couple of early wickets in the form of Mathew Short (9) and Steve Smith (0), hence the run chase got further difficult as a result of that. The second rain break made things even worse for the visitors as the target was revised to 317 in 33 overs.

With the scoreboard pressure mounting, Ravichandran Ashwin got into the attack and picked three wickets to make the run chase improbable for the visiting team.

There were a few Australian batsmen who looked promising, but it was the Men in Blue who clicked all the boxes right.

With rain or without it, there was only one team that dominated proceedings in this encounter and they rightly ended up on the winning side. Three wickets for Ashwin, three wickets for Jadeja, a lovely night for the Indian spinners.

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