From an unknown commodity in world cricket, Australian middle-order batsman Ashton Turner became an overnight sensation after his blitz in Mohali on Sunday when he smashed 84 off 43 at a strike rate of 195.35. Prior to this match, Australia had never successfully chased more than 334 but 26-year-old Turner, in only his second ODI, delivered a masterclass that took Australia past India’s 358 to level the five-match series at 2-2.
Ashton Turner … pretty sure someone said he should be in the team during the #BigBash !!!! #INDvAUS #JustSaying … Now getting very concerned the Aussies are starting to get something going at the right time !!!! #CWC19
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) 10 March 2019
Turner arrived at the ground expecting not to play but Marcus Stoinis failed to pass a fitness test for his broken thumb and thus he was included in the playing XI. He came in to bat in the 36th over after Glenn Maxwell was dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav, leaving Australia precariously placed at 229/4, and needing 130 runs to win.
Here’s how he turned the match on its head:
0-20 runs: Turner began his innings slowly, taking time to settle down and getting used to the pace of the wicket. In his first seven balls, he scored just six runs. But one ball later he began to free his arms, smacking Yadav for successive fours. A couple of runs followed and he quickly moved to 19 off 14 balls.
20-40 runs: Turner began to play some clean and smart strokes. His first big hit came in the 40th over, when he once again hoicked Yadav down the ground. Despite Peter Handscomb’s dismissal a few balls later, the right-hander continued to play attacking shots, clobbering leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal for another six over long on. Till then his innings (42 off 30) was largely interspersed with singles and doubles.
84 off 43 balls
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) 10 March 2019
40-60 runs: In the 45th over of Australia’s innings, Turner launched a full-blown assault when he took on Bhuvneshwar Kumar, smashing him for 20 runs in one over – including two sixes and one four. After notching up his 50 in just 33 balls, Turner then brought out a pickup shot which went over deep-midwicket for yet another six.
60- 84 runs: But it was not all about power, as the 26-year-old walked across his stumps and hit Jasprit Bumrah for a six with a scoop over fine-leg.
Despite the equation coming down to 26 off 24 balls, there was no stopping him. Continuing his vicious assault, Turner dispatched a knuckleball from Kumar for a six over long-on. Both of India’s best death bowlers were being carted around and in two over they gave away 36 runs.
It was in Kumar’s over that Turner was dropped twice as he raced to 81 off 41. A couple of singles more and the job was done for Australia’s latest batting sensation.