Manish Pandey struck a brilliant unbeaten 104 as India stopped Australia’s push for a clean-sweep with a record run chase to notch up a thrilling consolation six-wicket victory in the fifth and final cricket one-dayer in Sydney on Saturday.
Despite this victory, Australia won the high-scoring series by 4-1 margin.
Chasing a steep target of 331, India’s batting rode on Pandey’s maiden ODI ton and a superb opening stand of 123 between Rohit Sharma (99) and Shikhar Dhawan (78) to overhaul the score with just two balls to spare, setting up the record for the highest run chase against the home team on Australian soil.
After having bungled a similar chase in the previous match, the Indians made sure that they did not suffer any catastrophic collapse today with Pandey being the glue that held one end.
The visitors, after cruising along nicely at one stage, were left to pick 13 of the last over which was bowled by Mitchell Marsh. He bowled the first delivery wide as the equation came down to 12 off six balls.
Skipper Dhoni, who was struggling to middle the ball throughout the entire innings cleared the fence off a low full-toss bowled by Marsh but was out off the very next delivery leaving a tricky six runs to be scored off 4 deliveries.
Pandey, however kept his cool as he steered a wide yorker for a boundary to keep it down to 2 off 3 balls. He also completed a magnificent ton in the process.
The win was accomplished when Pandey hit over extra cover region as vice-captain Virat Kohli rushed to the field to congratulate him.
Pandey, hit eight fours and a six in his 81 ball knock.
The cricket caravan now moves to Adelaide, where the first T20 International will be played on Republic Day.