Finch shines with century in ODI return

Australian opener Aaron Finch has scored his eighth one-day international century with a powerful display against India in his return from injury.

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Finch missed the first two games with a calf complaint as Australia slumped to 2-0 down in the five-match series making victory in Indore crucial to their hopes of winning the series.

The 30-year-old Victorian made 124 off 125 balls, plundering 17 boundaries including five sixes to help his side into a strong position on Sunday.

Finch had no trouble clearing the short boundaries at Holkar Stadium after skipper Steve Smith won the toss and chose to bat first.

He smashed four of his five sixes off Indian spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.

But Yadav eventually claimed his wicket with a slog sweep hit straight down Kedar Jadhav’s throat at deep mid-wicket.

With batting collapses Australia’s chief concern coming into the match, Finch provided a steady hand at the top of the order as he reunited with long-time opening partner David Warner.

Finch and Warner put on 70 for the first wicket before skipper Steve Smith came to the crease.

Smith, who has spoken about success being underpinned by batting partnerships, teamed up with Finch for a second wicket stand of 174.

After starting watchfully, Finch eased into his innings and brought up his fifty from 61 deliveries.

He reached his ton in 110 balls before putting his foot on the accelerator only to be brought undone after not middling another six attempt.

Finch replaced makeshift opener Hilton Cartwright who was bowled for one in the first two matches of the series.

Germany votes as Merkel heads for win, hard-right AfD for first seats

Surveys suggest Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance has a double-digit lead over its nearest rivals, the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) led by Martin Schulz.

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Polling stations opened at 0600 GMT in Europe’s top economy and will close at 1600 GMT.

With four other parties predicted to clear the five-percent bar to enter into the Bundestag, the highest number since the 1950s, it could take months of coalition wrangling before the next government takes shape.

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0:00 SBS Chief International Correspondent Brett Mason previews Germany’s election Share SBS Chief International Correspondent Brett Mason previews Germany’s election

Mainstream parties however have already ruled out talking to the anti-Islam, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), which is polling at 11 to 13 percent and could emerge as Germany’s third-strongest party.

Alarmed by the prospect of what Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel branded “real Nazis” entering the Bundestag for the first since the end of World War II, politicians used their final days of campaigning to urge voters to reject the rightwing populist AfD.

“This Alternative for Germany is no alternative. They are a shame for our nation,” former European Parliament chief Schulz said at a rally on Friday.

Gabrielle: “I hope it will be #Merkel. She’s a Christian. She’s for peace. And Mr Trump is for war.” #BTW2017 pic南京夜生活,/ZZzWvbDDv6

— Brett Mason (@BrettMasonNews) September 24, 2017

The latest surveys put support for Merkel’s conservative block at 34-36 percent, with the SPD trailing at 21-22 percent — which would translate into a historic low for the party.

Despite bracing for a drubbing, Schulz was all smiles as he and his wife cast their ballot in his western hometown of Wuerselen.

Of those voters: 31.7 million are women, 29.8 million are men and around 3 million are first time voters #BTW2017 #GermanyDecides

— Brett Mason (@BrettMasonNews) September 24, 2017

Merkel, 63, whose campaign events were regularly disrupted by jeering AfD protesters, said at her final stump speech in the southern city of Munich that “the future of Germany will definitely not be built with whistles and hollers”.

Observers say a strong showing by the AfD, which has capitalised on anger over the influx of a million migrants and refugees since 2015, will hit Germany like a bombshell.

“If the AfD becomes the leading opposition party, they will challenge key themes,” said Thorsten Benner, director of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin. “It will very much change the tone of debate in parliament.”

Aside from the populist noise, the past two months of campaigning have been widely criticised as lacklustre, with few hot-button issues dividing the main contenders.

Commentators say Merkel’s reassuring message of stability and prosperity has resonated in greying Germany, where more than half of the 61 million voters are aged 52 or older.

0:00 Germany election 2017: Five things you should know about the German election Share Germany election 2017: Five things you should know about the German election

Europe’s most powerful woman appears all but assured of winning another term, matching the 16-year reign of her mentor Helmut Kohl.

Schulz on the other hand has struggled to gain traction with his calls for a more socially just Germany at a time when the economy is humming and employment is at a record low.

The SPD has also found it hard to shine after four years as the junior partner in Merkel’s left-right “grand coalition”, marked by broad agreement on major topics, from foreign policy to migration.

In the final stretch, the more outspoken Schulz told voters to reject Merkel’s “sleeping-pill politics” and vote against “another four years of stagnation and lethargy”.

Germany’s best-selling daily Bild at the weekend said 61-year-old Schulz found his voice as he neared the finish line, and praised him for “fighting until the end”.

“Germany doesn’t just need a chancellor. It also needs an opposition leader. Schulz has started to sound like one,” the newspaper wrote. 

Die Zeit: “Be careful, Germany!” #GermanyDecides #BTW2017 @SBSNews pic南京夜生活,/cQ0doyqzgZ

— Brett Mason (@BrettMasonNews) September 24, 2017Undecided

The CDU and the SPD have signalled they aren’t keen to continue their loveless marriage, and many rank-and file SPD members believe the traditional working class party would benefit from a stint in opposition to rekindle its fighting spirit.

This would leave the presumed winner Merkel in need of new coalition partners — possibly the liberal and pro-business Free Democrats, who are hoping for a comeback after crashing out of parliament four years ago.

Another potential partner would be the ecologist and left-leaning Greens party, which, however, starkly differs with the FDP on issues from climate change to migration policy.

Ulf: “I hope that today we secure a free, democratic Europe” #BTW2017 pic南京夜生活,/x2NQrJCX0v

— Brett Mason (@BrettMasonNews) September 24, 2017

Pundits have pointed out that a significant number of voters remained undecided until the last minute, suggesting the final outcome could throw up some surprises depending on turnout.

In the western city of Frankfurt, 66-year-old Harald said he was still unsure who to vote for as he headed home from his night shift as a security guard in the leafy Westend suburb.

“I will make up my mind once I’m in the polling booth. You can forget about the AfD,” he told AFP.

0:00 Angela Merkel’s CDU campaigning to the ‘prosperity and security for all’ manifesto Share Angela Merkel’s CDU campaigning to the ‘prosperity and security for all’ manifesto

Here are some facts and figures about the country:

GEOGRAPHY: The Federal Republic of Germany is bordered to the north by Denmark, to the west by France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, to the south by Switzerland and Austria and to the east by the Czech Republic and Poland.

The country covers 357,050 square kilometres (137,850 square miles). The landscape rises from lowlands on the North and Baltic seas to the Bavarian Alps in the south. The biggest rivers are the Rhine, Elbe and Danube.

CAPITAL: Berlin, with 3.5 million inhabitants, is Germany’s biggest city and the second biggest in the European Union after London.

POPULATION: The EU’s most populous country, Germany had 82.8 million inhabitants at the end of 2016, including 10 million foreigners. Germany has the highest population of ethnic Turks outside Turkey, at about three million. It is one of Europe’s most densely populated countries, at 232 people per square kilometre. With a low birth rate, the population is ageing and shrinking.

0:00 Germany election 2017: What you need to know about the AfD party Share Germany election 2017: What you need to know about the AfD party

RELIGION: Christianity is the main religion in Germany, with a third of the country Protestants and a similar number Catholics. Other major religious groups in Germany include Muslims, who are estimated at 4.4 million and a Jewish population of 99,000.

HISTORY: Otto von Bismarck, the “Iron Chancellor”, founded the German Empire in 1871 from many independent states, dominated by the Kingdom of Prussia.

After four years of bitter fighting, Germany suffered a devastating defeat in World War I and the humiliating conditions of the peace settlement contributed to the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in 1933.

Hitler unleashed the Holocaust and plunged Europe and the world into its bloodiest-ever conflict that resulted in the death of tens of millions of people and the division of Germany and Berlin into four zones, shared by the victorious powers – Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the United States.

0:00 Martin Schulz’s SPD campaigning on ‘a future plan for modern Germany’ Share Martin Schulz’s SPD campaigning on ‘a future plan for modern Germany’

Divided Germany became the key Cold War battleground between nuclear superpowers Russia and the United States, whose tanks faced each other across the Berlin Wall, which was finally and jubilantly torn down by people power in 1989. Germany was reunified in 1990.

POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS: Germany has two houses of parliament, the Bundestag (lower house) and Bundesrat (upper house, representing the 16 federal states).

The head of government or chancellor is now Angela Merkel, the leader of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union.

She has governed since 2005 and was re-elected in September 2009, ruling with Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union and, in her second term, with junior partners the pro-business Free Democrats. She now leads a coalition with the Social Democratic Party as junior partners.

There is also a president, a largely symbolic head of state, currently Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a former foreign minister who was sworn in in March 2017.

Germany is a founding member of the European Economic and Monetary Union, launched in 1999, and was among the first 11 countries to physically use the euro currency on January 1, 2002.

ECONOMY: Germany is Europe’s leading economic power and the world’s second-largest exporter after China, mainly of vehicles, machinery, high-tech goods and chemicals. Big companies include auto makers Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi and industrial conglomerates ThyssenKrupp and Siemens. The main financial centre is Frankfurt.

GDP: 3.134 trillion euros ($3.760 trillion) in 2016 or 48,839 euros per capita.

UNEMPLOYMENT: 5.7 percent in August 2017.

ARMED FORCES: The German armed forces had 178,304 personnel in June 2017. The constitution states they can be used only “for defensive purposes”. The army requires parliamentary consent for any missions abroad. Conscription was ended in 2011.

 

Germany federal election 2017: The final countdown

With only days until Germany heads to the polls on September 24, here’s a recap of the race in the lead up to election day.

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Where do Germany’s two chancellor candidates stand on key issues?

FOREIGN POLICY:

On the issue of North Korea, Social Democrat Martin Schulz argues US President Donald Trump is not the right person to solve tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Chancellor Angela Merkel says although she disagrees with Mr Trump on many issues, solving the current situation without his involvement is impossible.

Mr Schulz says if he were to become chancellor he would stop EU accession talks for Turkey, while Ms Merkel says Germany should not push for a break in the negotiations although she believes there should be a freeze on any payments from the European Union to help with Turkey’s accession.

0:00 Germany’s AfD vows to dethrone Merkel Share Germany’s AfD vows to dethrone Merkel

MIGRATION:

Mr Schulz accuses Ms Merkel of not informing other European Union nations properly of Germany’s plan, two years ago, to allow in refugees who were stuck in Hungary.

The chancellor says the government simply acted in accordance with the laws laid down in the country’s constitution.

Both candidates agree that the EU-Turkey agreement on refugees should be maintained, despite human rights abuses committed by Ankara.

0:00 How Europe will impact the German election Share How Europe will impact the German election

SECURITY AND ISLAMIC EXTREMISM:

The chancellor argues authorities need to have more tools at their disposal to conduct video and social media surveillance.

Mr Schulz says he wants 15,000 more police jobs created and officers should not be tied up with so much bureaucracy.

On the topic of radicalisation, Ms Merkel says a version of Islam which abides by Germany’s constitution is welcome in the country.

Both candidates say preachers who spread extreme views in Germany’s mosques should not be tolerated.

SOCIAL JUSTICE:

Mr Schulz argues although Germany is a wealthy country, not all people in the country are doing well, citing single parents, pensioners and long-term unemployed.

He says he will campaign for free kindergartens to try to lighten the financial burden on parents.

Ms Merkel counters the number of unemployed has sunk from 5 million to 2.5 million since she took over as chancellor.

Mr Schulz wants to reduce taxes on families and also force the top tax rate to apply to those earning higher.

The chancellor says she wants to save German taxpayers 15 billion euros over the next four years.

0:00 Refugees talk about upcoming German election Share Refugees talk about upcoming German election

COALITION OPTIONS:

Ms Merkel categorically rules out forming a coalition with the country’s Left Party or the right-wing AfD party, and avoids answering the question on whether she would enter into a partnership with the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP).

Mr Schulz has refused to rule out his party could again form the junior partner in a grand coalition with Ms Merkel’s Christian Democrats, should they fail to win the vote on September 24.

Germany 2017: The final countdown

Barty wins first round in Wuhan tennis

Ashleigh Barty has set up a second round clash with world No.

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7 Johanna Konta after a straight sets win in the opening round of the Wuhan Open.

After a tight first set against American Catherine Bells, Barty steamrolled her way through the second to win 7-5 6-0.

Konta, who had a first round bye, enjoyed a win over Barty in their only clash, in the quarter finals of Nottingham earlier this year.

In a breakout year Barty has risen to No.37 in the world, from 271 at the start of 2017.

A few more wins this year should ensure she breaks into the top 32, enabling her to avoid playing seeds in the first two rounds of grand slam tournaments.

Meanwhile Katerina Siniakova beat a top-20 player for the sixth time this year when she ousted Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-3 6-2.

The Czech, who has two singles titles already this year, deepened the hole occupied by Mladenovic, who lost an eighth consecutive match, all to players ranked outside the WTA top 25.

Ekaterina Makarova of Russia won nine games in a row from 4-1 down en route to beating Anastasija Sevastova 6-4 6-2.

Also, Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine defeated Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-3 7-6 (10-8) to line up world No.1 Garbine Muguruza in the next round.

Muguruza, second-seeded Simona Halep and the other top six seeds received byes into the second round.

Sloane Stephens will take on Wang Qiang of China in the first round in her first competitive match since winning the US Open.

Stephens, seeded 14th in Wuhan, arrived on Friday and is expected to play her opening match on Monday. Madison Keys, who lost to Stephens in the all-American final in New York, will face qualifier Varvara Lepchenko in her opener.

Australia set India 294 for ODI victory

An Aaron Finch century hasn’t been enough to lift Australia past 300 in their do-or-die one-day international against India in Indore.

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Australia finished with 6-293 which the hosts will be confident of chasing down given the short boundaries and favourable batting conditions at Holkar Stadium on Sunday.

Finch, who missed the first two matches of the five-game series with a calf injury, smashed 17 boundaries including five sixes in his knock of 124 off 125 balls.

Australia must win to keep the series alive after slumping to 2-0 down with losses in Chennai and Kolkata.

With Finch and skipper Steve Smith at the crease Australia looked destined for a massive total.

But following their 174-run stand, the Australians stalled with tight Indian bowling restricting them to three boundaries in the final 11 overs.

Australia started strongly with Finch and Warner combining for a 70-run opening partnership.

But a Hardik Pandya off-cutter skidded through Warner’s defences and clipped the top of off stump with the Australian vice-captain on 42.

Smith was furious with himself after getting out caught at long-off from the final ball of Kuldeep Yadav’s ninth over for 63 off 71 balls, his second consecutive ODI half-century.

Glenn Maxwell (five) was promoted to No.4 in the batting order but failed to fire a shot, out stumped to Yuzvendra Chahal the ball after Smith was dismissed.

Travis Head (four) had his middle stumped knocked out of the ground by a Jasprit Bumrah slower ball as Australia lost 5-51 in the space of 10 overs.

That brought Peter Handscomb to the crease but he and Marcus Stoinis struggled to launch a meaningful assault on the bowlers in the death overs.

Marcus Stoinis finished with an unbeaten 27 off 28 balls but struggled to find the boundary when Australia needed it most.

Handscomb was out for three to an outstanding bit of fielding from Manish Pandey off the bowling of Bumrah (2-52).

Pandey took the catch at long-off as he was falling over the rope, threw the ball in the air and jumped back into the field of play to grab it on the second attempt.

Handscomb will take as wicketkeeper when Australia bowl following Matthew Wade’s axing.

Germany votes, history beckons for Merkel

Polling stations have opened across Germany in an election that is likely to see Chancellor Angela Merkel win a historic fourth term and a far-right party enter parliament for the first time in more than half a century.

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Some 61.5 million people are eligible to cast their ballots in the election in which Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) are expected to post a commanding lead over their centre-left Social Democrat (SPD) rivals.

Merkel’s conservative bloc is on track to remain the largest group in parliament, opinion polls indicated, but a fracturing of the political landscape may well make it harder for her to form a ruling coalition than previously.

With as many as a third of Germans undecided in the run-up to the election, Merkel and her main rival, centre-left challenger Martin Schulz of the Social Democrats (SPD), urged them to get out and vote.

“We want to boost your motivation so that we can still reach many, many people,” the chancellor, 63, said in Berlin on Saturday before heading north to her constituency for a final round of campaigning.

In regional votes last year, Merkel’s conservatives suffered setbacks to the hard-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which profited from resentment at her 2015 decision to leave German borders open to over one million migrants.

Those setbacks made Merkel, a pastor’s daughter who grew up in Communist East Germany, wonder if she should even run for re-election.

But with the migrant issue under control this year, she has bounced back and thrown herself into a punishing campaign schedule, presenting herself as an anchor of stability in an uncertain world.

Visibly happier, Merkel campaigned with renewed conviction: a resolve to retool the economy for the digital age, to head off future migrant crises, and to defend a Western order shaken by Donald Trump’s US election victory last November.

Both Merkel and Schulz worry that a low turnout could work in favour of smaller parties, especially the AfD. On Friday, Schulz described the AfD as “gravediggers of democracy”.

An INSA poll published by Bild newspaper on Saturday suggested that support was slipping for Merkel’s conservatives, who dropped two percentage points to 34 per cent, and the SPD, down one point to 21 per cent – both now joined in an unwieldy “grand coalition”.

The anti-immigrant AfD rose two points to 13 per cent, putting it on course to be the third-largest party.

Should she win a fourth term, Merkel will join the late Helmut Kohl, her mentor who reunified Germany, and Konrad Adenauer, who led Germany’s rebirth after World War II, as the only post-war chancellors to win four national elections.

The AfD’s expected entry into the national parliament is likely to herald an era of more robust debate in German politics – a departure from the steady, consensus-based approach that has marked the post-war period.

Too many X-rays done on kids, experts warn

Concerns have been raised too many unnecessary X-rays are being used on infants with common respiratory conditions like bronchiolitis and asthma.

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Medical experts are calling for a re-think of the procedure’s use in children as part of the latest recommendations of the Choosing Wisely initiative launched on Monday by NPS MedicineWise.

Emergency department physician Dr Sarah Dalton, RACP Paediatrics & Child Health Division President, says in some cases X-rays are happening “too frequently”, placing the child at harm.

“Unfortunately what we see is that so many of these children that come in to emergency departments with breathing problems and are having chest X-rays that doesn’t really change the treatment that we offer but it does put them at risk of the radiation that is associated with the X-ray and that is what we are trying to stop,” Dr Dalton told AAP.

Dr Dalton said very rarely does an X-ray change the treatment of a child with typical bronchiolitis – a common condition in babies where they get a virus that makes it hard to breathe.

An X-ray should always be ordered if a doctor suspects pneumonia, a complication of bronchiolitis, she said.

“But there really is only a very small number of children who when I listen to their chest I think they do need a chest X-ray, in most situations when we examine children with this kind of problem there is no indication of it being pneumonia and therefore they don’t really need the X-ray,” Dr Dalton told AAP.

“One of the studies showed that if you do 100 X-rays for children with bronchiolitis it will only change the treatment course for one child.”

Dr Dalton is calling on her fellow doctors to “pause for a second” before recommending an X-ray.

“The challenge is working out when they’re needed and when they’re not,” she said.

“For any parents who might be concerned about the idea that ‘less can sometimes be more’, I would say to them we want to make sure we are only ordering a test when it is medically beneficial for your child.”

The initiative is also advising against the use of X-rays for lower back pain in adults.

Another important focus of the newly-released Choosing Wisely recommendations is getting people back to work and doctors have asked not to certify a patient as totally unfit for work unless clinically necessary.

“Where appropriate we are encouraging willing patients to continue working in some capacity as part of their overall healthcare management,” said Associate Professor Peter Connaughton, President of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Doctors have also been warned about prescribing opioids for the treatment of acute or chronic pain.

Hill runs prep Wallabies for the Highveld

The old-school fitness camp the Wallabies suffered through is set to pay huge dividends as they return to South Africa’s Highveld, assistant coach Mick Byrne says.

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Australia’s record at altitude against the Springboks is dismal, having won a total of just three times in Bloemfontein, Johannesburg and Pretoria – and only once in the last 54 years.

Coach Michael Cheika has suggested it is a purely mental roadblock that his players must overcome.

But they have also done the hard yards to ensure they can meet the physical demands of the challenge as well.

Cheika smashed his players with cardio in June and then again in the lead-up to Australia’s Rugby Championship opener last month, sending them on hill runs in Newcastle with their mouths taped shut as he pushed them past the point of exhaustion.

Former AFL ruckman Byrne said it will all come in handy when crunch time arrives during their clash with the Springboks in Bloemfontein on Sunday morning (AEST).

“I know (strength and conditioning) coaches will have a crack at me but it isn’t rocket science,” Byrne said.

“They talk about it being science but I didn’t have a lot of sports science around me when I played and we were able to get fit. It’s about hard work.

“Getting a good base of work, which we did in that August window, has set us up for the year really well.

“It’s going to be a help every week, but I guess if you’re looking for more oxygen and you’re not fit, you’re in trouble. If you’re fit you’ll be OK.

“We’re still not there, we’ve still got work to do but what we did in that window and how hard the players worked, we’ve seen some good results.”

Byrne acknowledged that the challenges of playing 1500m above sea level cannot be dismissed or simply talked down as something that both teams have to deal with.

“Obviously, you can’t hide away from the fact that altitude’s a different atmosphere,” he said.

“But I think the players adapt to it pretty quickly.

“The worst thing you can do is talk about it, so you just get on with it.

“We’ve put plans in place, we’ve come here, started our sessions this morning and just get on with our week.”

Sagan wins world title, Matthews third

Peter Sagan stayed quiet all day before timing his effort to perfection in the final sprint to become the first rider to claim three road race world championship titles in a row.

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The Slovakian surged ahead with less than 50 metres left when he pipped local favourite Alexander Kristoff to the line.

Australian Michael Matthews took third place after being boxed in during the lead-up to the sprint.

“It was not easy. It came down to a sprint, that was unbelievable,” Sagan said.

“I’m sorry (for the Norwegian fans) but I’m happy to be world champion again.”

It seemed that France’s Julian Alaphilippe and Italian Gianni Moscon would fight it out for gold when both jumped away from the leading group 11km from the line on the ascent to Salmon Hill, a 1.4-km effort at an average gradient of 6.4 per cent.

But they were eventually reined in and most of the top sprinters contested the win.

Sagan, who was kicked out of the Tour de France this year for sending Mark Cavendish crashing in a sprint, was clearly the strongest as he added to his titles in Doha and Richmond, Virginia.

Tim Wellens broke away with 70km left and was followed by seven riders — Spain’s David De La Cruz, Dutch Lars Boom, Italian Alessandro De Marchi, Colombian Jarlinson Pantano, Austrian Maro Haller, Australian Jack Haig and Norway’s Odd Christian Eiking.

They built up a maximum gap of 45 seconds as France tried to take control at the front of the peloton.

The break was ended 25 km from the finish after the peloton was split in the penultimate passage up to Salmon Hill.

In the final ascent, Alaphilippe burst away from the leading pack and only Moscon could follow as they opened up a 10-second gap.

They came up just short, though. The Frenchman contested the sprint but ended up 10th.

India clinch series with hat-trick of wins against Australia

Three of India’s top four batsmen scored 70 or more as the hosts chased down a 294-run victory target with 13 balls to spare for their third successive victory in the five-match series.

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Earlier, Aaron Finch smashed 124 on his return but Australia, cruising at 224-1 at one stage, suffered a mini-collapse to settle for 293-6 in the Holkar Stadium.

India’s ninth consecutive ODI win also ensured they are now the top ranked team both in tests and the one-day format.

Bangalore hosts the fourth match on Thursday.

Australia captain Steve Smith won the toss for the first time in the series and opted to bat first.

Openers Finch and David Warner give Australia a solid, if not spectacular, start with a 70-run stand as the tourists looked determined to preserve wickets.

Pandya bowled Warner for 42 but Finch and Smith added 154 runs for the second wicket with a 325-plus total looking well within Australia’s reach.

If Finch, who smacked five sixes and 12 boundaries in his nearly run-a-ball knock, plundered his runs, Smith accumulated them quietly, hitting five boundaries in his 63.

Left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav dismissed both to trigger a collapse as Australia lost five wickets for 51 runs to fall short of the 300-mark.

India reached the 100 mark in 15 overs without losing a wicket with Rohit Sharma leading their robust reply with a blistering 71.

The opener smacked four sixes, one of them sailed over the stadium, as he and Ajinkya Rahane (70) scored 139 runs to take the hosts nearly halfway down the target.

India soon suffered a mini-collapse of their own, losing four wickets, including their openers and skipper Virat Kohli, for 67 runs.

Batting at number four, Pandya hit four sixes and five boundaries in his aggressive knock to take India close to victory.

Manish Pandey completed the formality with a quickfire 36 not out to see his side home.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Christian Radnedge)