Fast & fu­ri­ous

Rookie quick Richard­son’s 4-for sinks Team In­dia, Dhoni’s slow 96-ball 51 draws flak in ODI opener

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AMASTERFUL cen­tury from In­dian mae­stro Ro­hit Sharma was not enough to get In­dia over the line as Aus­tralia’s quicks suc­cess­fully de­fended 288 thanks to a ca­reer-best four-wicket haul from Jhye Richard­son.

Sharma blasted 133 off 129 balls in a brave ef­fort to keep In­dia in the con­test. But the con­ver­sa­tion on Twit­ter cen­tred around Ma­hen­dra Singh Dhoni’s 96-ball 51.

Sharma and Dhoni put on a vi­tal 137-run stand but the re­quired run-rate kept climb­ing through the part­ner­ship. Dhoni, in par­tic­u­lar, strug­gled to ro­tate the strike early in his in­nings and his wicket fell just as he was start­ing to play a few more shots.

“Ro­hit was out­stand­ing, MS sup­ported well. They bat­ted well and they took the game deep. Deep enough for us to think that we had a chance. MS was just look­ing to ac­cel­er­ate and he got out,” said In­dia skip­per Vi­rat Kohli af­ter the game.

Richard­son fin­ished with his best ODI fig­ures of 4-26 off 10 overs and bowled with im­pres­sive pace and vigour.

PHO­TOS: PTI

Aus­tralian play­ers cel­e­brate their vic­tory over In­dia in the first ODI at the Syd­ney Cricket Ground on Satur­day.

Ro­hit Sharma’s hun­dred goes in vain. (Left) Jhye Richard­son cel­e­brates a wicket in Syd­ney.

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