Sydney: Australia defeated India by 34 runs in the first One Day International (ODI) match of the three-match series here at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), on Saturday. Rohit Sharma's heroic knock of 133 runs off 129 balls with Mahendra Singh Dhoni's patient 51 runs knock went in vain, as India was 34 runs short of Australia's, challenging total of 288 runs.
India scored 254/9 runs in their stipulated 50 overs.
With the virtue of this win, Australia took a 1-0 lead in the series.Chasing a challenging target of 289 runs, India got off to a worst possible start as their three top order batsmen departed early -Shikhar Dhawan (0), Virat Kohli (3) and Ambati Rayudu (0).
Kohli was caught by Marcus Stoinis off Jhye Richardson in third over. It was Virat's rare failure.
Then, former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and present vice captain Rohit Sharma stitched together a partnership of 137 runs for the fourth wicket, keeping the visitors in hunt.
In the 33rd over, Jason Behrendorff gave Australia a much-needed breakthrough in the form of Dhoni. Behrendorff dismissed Dhoni for 51 off 96 balls. The replay was suggesting that the ball pitched outside leg before hitting the pads, but umpire raised his finger.After Dhoni's dismissal, India kept losing their wickets at regular intervals and ended up being a 34 runs short of the hosts total of 288 runs.
Meanwhile, on the other hand, Sharma kept India in chase with Bhuvneshwar Kumar's unbeaten 29 runs knock off 23 balls.Richardson took four wickets for 26 runs in his 10 overs quota with two maiden overs.Sharma and Dhoni were the high-scorers from the visitors side with 133 runs off 129 balls and 51 runs off 96 balls knocks, respectively.
The 31-year-old right-hander hit 10 four and six huge sixes in his 22 ODI hundered.
Earlier in the day, The hosts won the toss and elected to bat first. Australia got off to a bad start as their captain Aaron Finch dismissed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar for six runs in the third over of the match, giving the visitors first breakthrough of the maiden match of the three one-day series.
Left-hander Usman Khawaja replaced his captain and added 33 runs with Alex Carey for the second wicket. Carey was caught by Rohit Sharma off Kuldeep Yadav for 24 off 31 balls.
Then, Shaun Marsh and Khawaja stitched together a crucial partnership of 92 runs for the third wicket, taking the Australian tally to get past 100 runs mark.
Khawaja after scoring his fifth ODI fifty was removed by Ravindra Jadeja in the form of leg before wicket (LBW) for 59 off 81 balls.Peter Handscomb and Marsh (54 off 70 balls) added quick 53 runs off 35 balls for the fourth wicket partnership. The chinaman bowler Yadav flighted the ball and Marsh tried to go for the big hit, ending up with giving the catch at long on reason to Mohammed Shami.
Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis took the Australian tally to 254 runs in 47 overs. Handscomb, who was looking dangerous, departed for 73 runs, hitting six fours and two sixes. Shikhar Dhawan took his catch at extra cover boundary off Bhuvneshwar Kumar in 47th over.Towards the end, Stoinis played some big hits, taking his team's total to 288 runs.Bhuvneshwar conceded 18 runs in the last over.
Kumar and Yadav bagged two wickets each in their 10 overs quota, while Jadeja took one wicket for 48 runs in 10 overs.Peter Handscomb was the high-scorer from the hosts side with his 73 runs. Jhye Richardson was named the Man of the Match.
Right-arm medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar reached the 100-wicket mark during the match, becoming the 19th Indian bowlers to reach the land mark.Jason Behrendorff earned his maiden ODI cap, becoming the 227th ODI player for Australia. He got his cap from the great former medium pacer Glenn McGrath.
During the match, Dhoni added another feather to his cap as he completed 10,000 One Day International (ODI) runs for India. He became the fifth Indian batsman after legendary Sachin Tendulkar, former captain Sourav Ganguly, present India Under-19 Head Coach Rahul Dravid and skipper Virat Kohli to score 10,000 ODI runs for India.(UNI)