Zampa puts India in a spin as Australia seal stunning series win

By Sports Desk March 13, 2019

Adam Zampa's double-wicket-maiden helped Australia complete a historic comeback as they beat India by 35 runs in Delhi to win their five-match ODI series 3-2.

Australia lost the opening two games, but Wednesday's triumph rounded off a stunning turnaround and ensured they won a bilateral ODI series of at least five matches from 2-0 down for the first time.

Usman Khawaja's rich vein of form continued with his second ODI century as Australia amassed 272-9 from their 50 overs, the opener's 106-ball 100 key for the tourists as only Peter Handscomb (52) joined him in passing 30.

India's reply struggled for momentum as Australia's seam attack kept things tight early on, but it was a sensational set of six from Zampa (3-46 from 10 overs) that really damaged the hosts.

Having removed top-scorer Rohit Sharma (56) at the start of the 29th over, Zampa had Ravindra Jadeja stumped three balls later to leave India in deep trouble at 132-6.

Kedar Jadhav (44) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (46) threatened to deny Australia with a 91-run partnership, but Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson removed them in successive balls and India ultimately fell some way short on 237 all out, losing their last wicket to the final ball of the innings.

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    Australia captain Michael Hooper acknowledged the Wallabies have "a lot to look at" after their heavy defeat to South Africa in the Rugby Championship.

    Inspired by debutant Herschel Jantjies in Johannesburg on Saturday, South Africa cruised to a 35-17 win at Ellis Park.

    South Africa capitalised on Taniela Tupou's's yellow card to run away with the game in the second half, though it was a much closer encounter prior to the interval.

    Indeed, had Dane Haylett-Petty - who scored Australia's first try - taken a great chance just after the half hour, the Wallabies would likely have lead at the break.

    And though Hooper was happy with Australia's attacking performance in the first half, he conceded they must learn their lessons from the defeat, with New Zealand and Argentina still to come before the World Cup in Japan.

    "South Africa controlled the second half so well," Hooper said.

    "We had a few opportunities in the first half which would have created a different picture but pat on the back to the South African team who controlled the ball and took advantage of the yellow card and took the match away.

    "Our attack in the first half was world-class. We showed a lot of different pictures but the reality is those things didn't happen and we were left with them doubling our points. There's a lot to look at."

    Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus, however, was not pleased with how his side performed despite the convincing victory.

    "A few guys certainly put their hands up for World Cup selection, but from a team performance perspective, this isn't how we want to play," he said.

  • South Africa 35-17 Australia: Debutant Jantjies inspires Springboks South Africa 35-17 Australia: Debutant Jantjies inspires Springboks

    Herschel Jantjies starred with two tries on his South Africa debut as the Springboks overcame Australia 35-17 in the Rugby Championship opener in Johannesburg.

    South Africa's stand-in captain Eben Etzebeth lauded the 23-year-old in the build-up to Saturday's encounter, and the scrum-half put in an inspired display at Ellis Park.

    Having opened the scoring in the 11th minute, Jantjies played a crucial role in South Africa's second try from Lood De Jager before capping his stirring display with another five-pointer just after the hour.

    Dane Haylett-Petty got on the board for Australia, although he missed a golden chance to put the Wallabies in front heading into the break.

    And the Springboks made their good fortune count - Taniela Tupou's yellow card proving costly for Australia as S'busiso Nkosi and Jantjies ran in while the Wallabies were down to 14 - with Cobus Reinach's late try ensuring a bonus point.

    With the tournament shortened to three rounds due to the upcoming World Cup, Australia's chances of success already look slim, and the pressure seems to be mounting on coach Michael Cheika.

    Australia looked in good shape when they forced an early line-out deep in South Africa's half, but found themselves behind a minute later when Jantjies rounded off a wonderful counter following fine wing play from Nkosi.

    Lukhan Salakaia-Loto saw a try disallowed as Australia rallied, with the Wallabies handed a boost when Andre Esterhuizen was sent to the sin bin after 20 minutes.

    Despite their numerical disadvantage, it was South Africa who struck next - De Jager forcing the ball down after Jantjies had been hauled down a metre out.

    Haylett-Petty exploited a gap in South Africa's line to reduce the deficit to four points before the half-hour mark, but the Australia winger was later left red-faced when he fumbled what looked to be a simple pick-up on the Springboks line.

    Australia failed to pick up where they left off following the break and were fortunate when Elton Jantjies - whose kicking had been on point in the first half - failed to convert a penalty.

    Tupou's dangerous lunge during a ruck reduced Australia to 14 men soon after, and South Africa wasted little time in capitalising when Nkosi dived over in the corner before Jantjies helped himself to a second try.

    Jantjies was taken off to a standing ovation soon after, and though Bernard Foley's try and subsequent conversion threatened to make things interesting, Reinach added further gloss to a convincing triumph after the hooter had blown.

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    Marcelo Bielsa has suggested he wants to coach Australia in the future.

    The Leeds United boss was reportedly a contender to succeed Ange Postecoglou in 2017.

    Football Federation Australia (FFA) instead appointed Bert van Marwijk to lead the Socceroos into the World Cup, with Graham Arnold now in charge.

    Bielsa, who has coached Argentina and Chile, has committed to staying at Leeds for the 2019-20 campaign but the 63-year-old indicated he would be interested in being approached by the FFA in the future as he rates Australia's footballing potential highly.

    "Always I had the illusion that this could be an option or at a minimum to talk with them, to know what they want," Bielsa told a news conference after Leeds beat A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday.

    "This contact never happened. I understand perfectly why it was like this but honestly, I would like to be part of the football of this country.

    "The country could be dangerous because finally their football is growing. They are at an age in football that will give the national team a chance to get success."

    Bielsa led Leeds to the Championship play-offs in his first season in English football, but his side lost to Derby County in the semi-finals.

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