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SEVENTH HEAVEN : Rahane, Rahul do it with ease

An emphatic eight-wicket win over Australia gives India their seventh consecutive series triumph29 Mar 2017 | 2:19 AM

DHARAMSALA:It was an easy job but it still had to be done. And India did it with ease as they knocked off the 106-run target to beat Australia by eight wickets and win an acrimoniously-fought series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1.

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Gaurav Kanthwal

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, March 28

It was an easy job but it still had to be done. And India did it with ease as they knocked off the 106-run target to beat Australia by eight wickets and win an acrimoniously-fought series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1. 

India needed just 87 runs this morning to wrap up the series, while Australia needed a special bowling effort to pull off an improbable win. But KL Rahul (51*) and Ajinkya Rahane (38*) finished off the job in a hurry, 23.5 overs to be precise, to snuff out any chance of an Australian comeback. 

India suffered a faint scare when they lost Murali Vijay (8) to an almost unplayable delivery from Pat Cummins, and the in-form Pujara got run out in the same over, the scoreboard reading 46/2. The twin strike gave Australia the opening they had been looking for, and it must have caused a little scare in the Indian camp.

Ajinkya Rahane, the stand-in skipper, however, didn’t let the Australians build up any pressure as he came out with an aggressive frame of mind. He began with a couple of boundaries to ease the tension, and then, in the 20th over, he smashed two sensational sixes off Pat Cummins to quash Australia’s hopes.

On a Day 4 wicket that was offering generous assistance to the bowlers, India ensured the scoreboard kept moving at a brisk pace. While Rahane dealt the knockout punch to the Australian hopes, KL Rahul, on the other hand, dished out yet another steady half-century. It was his sixth fifty-plus score in the series. 

Australia kept gambling on Cummins’ short stuff in a bid to elicit a mishit or an edge, but it was India’s day today. Each time a boundary was hit, it broke Australia’s heart. The hosts did not torment Australia for long as Rahul, on the last ball of the 24th over, pushed the ball to the midwicket region to complete his half-century and knock off the target, triggering celebrations all around.

Man of the series

"Some time ago people did not consider me a Test bowler. This season is a good reply to them. Ashwin and I maintain pressure from both the ends. The variation of an off-spinner and a left-arm spinner also works well. Hopefully we can continue this outside India too. I will try to get to get a hundred next time, and celebrate with two bats as swords."  — Ravindra Jadeja

SEVENTH HEAVEN : Rahane, Rahul do it with easeIndian cricket team with support staff and officials pose for a group photo after winning the Test series against Australia.
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