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All round show by Pandya and cool Dhoni power India to 1-0 lead

Last Modified Monday, 18 September 2017 (11:22 IST)
Chennai: Powered by an all round performance by (83 runs in 66 balls and two wickets), and a composed and cool knock by M S Dhoni (79, 88 balls), his 100th international half century, helped India defeat Australia by 26 runs in the first ODI at the M A Chidambaram stadium here tonight.Afer India recovering from 11 for three and 87 for five, set a massive target for 281 for seven in 50 overs, persistent drizzles rain shortened the game, setting a revised target of 164 in 21 overs for the Aussies.

But the visitors, crumbled under pressure and were restricted to 137 for nine in 21 overs as the home cantered home to a comfortable win, courtesy Pandya and the spinners.Hardik Pandya was named the man of the match.For India, speedster Jasprit Bumrah gave the breakthrough removing debutant Hilton Cartwright (one), whose wretched run continued after his failure in the warm up game, before Pandya picked up two crucial wickets including that of Aussie skipper Steve Smith, as the visitors lost wickets at regular intervals on a slow wicket, that assisted the spinners and also the seamers.

Glenn Maxwell, threatened to run away with a fine cameo, scoring 39 runs in 18 balls, including four sixers and three fours, but it was India's show all the way after initial hiccups.His exit, triggered a familiar Australian collapse, with the spinners Kuldeep Yadav (two wickets) and Y Chahal three wickets) strucking in tandem to spell the doom for the visitors.

Opener David Warner shone briefly with a 28-ball 25, but the Aussies lost wickets in a heap and lost the match by a comfortable margin.Earlier, Hardik Pandya and Dhoni resurrected the Indian innings with a 118-run stand for the sixth wicket in 19.3 overs, after the home team stuttered to 11 for three in sixth overs, with Nathan Coulter-Nile picking up three wickets, and later to 87 for five in 22 overs, and good knocks from Kedhar Jadhav 40 (54 balls) briefly steadied the innings with a 53 run stand in 63 balls with vice-captain Rohit Sharma (28, 44 balls) for the fourth wicket.

The quick dismissals of the top order brought Dhoni and Pandya together, who after a slow start, opened up to enable India posing a big total.Speaking after his career best innings (previous best 76), Hardik Pandya said ''it feels pretty amazing to be honest.They were on top, and the pressure was there.We lost wickets, and it was important for me to make a partnership with MSD''."'I mean, I have learnt a lot from him, still learning.we were speaking how we needs to change things up.It is a pleasure to play with him.

I was trying to hit out before the Zampa over as well.''Generally my plan is hitting straight - I don't care if long-off is there or long-on is there.If I connect well, I know I will clear the boundary.When me and Mahi bhai were batting we were looking at 230.
I will take 280'', Pandya said.

Earlier, Coulter-Nile and Cummins found swing and bounce in the early stage and made light work of India's top order.Kedar Jadhav flickered briefly before Hardik Pandya and Dhoni staged a remarkable recovery.Pandya teed off against Zampa, smashing three sixers and a four setting the tone for a big score.After Pandya fell for a career-best 83, Dhoni took over, brought up a fifty of his own.From 11 for 3 and then 87 for 5, India finish at 281 for 7 on a two-paced pitch, before Dhoni and Pandya provided the flourish and the bowlers did their job, to complete a fine win and go one up in the five match series.
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