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Starc rattles India with his 9th fiver-fer as Aus need 118 to level ODI series

Starc rattles India with his 9th fiver-fer as Aus need 118 to level ODI series

By BD Naraayannkar
Visakhapatnam, Mar 19 (UNI) Making the most of some early swing, Mitchell Starc put up a stellar performance by taking five wickets to bundle out India for 117 in 26 overs at Dr YSR Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here on Sunday.
This is India's third lowest ODI total against Australia and fourth at home.
Starc was simply fabulous as he ended with figures of 5/53 in 8 overs, which was his ninth five-fer in ODIs.
The Aussie pacer is behind Pakistan's Waqar Younis who took five wickets in an innings 13 times and Sri Lanka's legendary offspinner Muttaiah Muralitharan 10.
Starc was ably helped by pacers Sean Abbot and Nathan Ellis who picked up 3/23 and 2/13, respectively.
It just took 2 hours and 20 minutes to put a lid on India's innings after they were sent into bat by Australia Captain Steve Smith.
Starc made use of the windy condition to destroy the Indian top-order.
India lost Shubman Gill (0) on the second ball of the match in the similar manner he got out in the first ODI at Wankhede Stadium. He pushed hard straight into bucket hands of Marnus Labuschagne at backward point off Starc.
Rohit (13) chased hard on the drive and got a thick outside edge off Starc. Smith crouched at first slip and juggled before taking it on the second attempt.
Suryakumar Yadav was out for back-to-back golden ducks. He was bamboozled by an in-swinging delivery from Starc. SKY tried to on-drive and was comprehensively beaten on the inside edge and was trapped plumb in front of the wicket.
KL Rahul suffered a similar fate on a DRS at the hands of Starc. The last ODI batting hero could muster only 9 runs.
India lost four inside the powerplay for the first time since the 2019 World Cup semifinal, and it was Starc doing all the damage.
Hardik Pandya (1) was out to an absolute corker at first slip by Smith off Abbot. The Aussie captain dived full-length to his right and took a one-handed catch in the air.
And just as it looked like a partnership could be building between Virat Kohli (31 off 35) and Ravindra Jadeja (16), Ellis stepped up and got both batsmen out within three overs.
Axar Patel was looking strong, but found no support from the tail as Abbott was re-introduced to clean up the tail.
Then Starc got back to knock down Mohammad Siraj (0) and complete his fifer.
Australia need 118 runs to win and level the three-match ODI series.
Brief scores: India 117 in 26 overs (Virat Kohli 31, Axar Patel 29*; Mitchell Starc 5-53, Sean Abbott 3-23) vs Australia.

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