Finch century not enough for Australia in third ODI

Aaron Finch raises his bat after scoring his eighth ODI ton.
Aaron Finch raises his bat after scoring his eighth ODI ton. Rajanish Kakade

A blazing century from Aaron Finch was not enough to keep Australia's one-day international series hopes alive against India.

On a belter of a pitch in Indore, the Australians posted a sub-par total of 6-293 after electing to bat. Set a target of 294 to win, Indians got home with five wickets and 13 balls to spare.

It was a day of missed opportunities for the tourists, who made the bold call of dropping the out-of-sorts Matthew Wade for part-time wicketkeeper Peter Handsdcomb.

Back at the top order after missing the first two games with a calf-injury, Finch put on 70 runs for Australia's opening stand with David Warner before the latter was bowled by Hardik Pandya for 42.

From there Finch and Steve Smith went about setting up Australia's innings, putting on a 154-run stand that came to an end when the Victorian was caught in the deep for 124 off 125.

From there things went pear-shaped for Australia.

Aaron Finch goes on the attack.
Aaron Finch goes on the attack. Rajanish Kakade

Going into the final 10 overs at 2-234, with Smith looking well set on 59, Australia only added another 59 runs to the score, with Smith (63), Glenn Maxwell (5), Travis Head (4) and Handscomb (3) all falling. Marcus Stoinis finished not out on 27 off 28.

In reply the Indians cruised to 0-139, with Rohit Sharma flying to 71 off 62 before holing out to Nathan Coulter-Nile and Ajinkya Rahana making a classy 70 off 76 before being trapped in front by Pat Cummins.

Sharma was dropped on 67 by Handscomb but the missed chance that really cost Australia was that of Smith off Pandya when the all-rounder was only on 41 in the 37th over.

India's Hardik Pandya.
India's Hardik Pandya. Rajanish Kakade

Having already hit Ashton Agar for a six and a four in the over, Pandya looked to pick up one more boundary off the spinner only to sky a chance over Smith at cover.

Running back, Smith managed to get himself underneath it, but never looked comfortable, dropping what turned into a one-handed chance.

At that point India was 4-216 and had lost Kedhar Jadhav (2) and Virat Kohli (28) in the previous two overs.

It was a dismissal that could have saved the game for Australia.

Instead Pandya went on to score 78 off 72 in a man-of-the-match performance, only departing the stage when India needed 10 runs to win.

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