Ro­hit fire­works thwarted as Aus­tralia beat In­dia in first ODI

The Aus­tralians made 288 for five off their 50 overs af­ter win­ning the toss and re­stricted In­dia to 254 for nine

Times of Oman - - SPORTS -

SYD­NEY: fended off an ex­plo­sive cen­tury from Ro­hit Sharma to post a morale-boost­ing 34-run vic­tory over In­dia in the first one-day in­ter­na­tional in Syd­ney on Satur­day.

The Aus­tralians made 288 for five off their 50 overs af­ter win­ning the toss and re­stricted In­dia to 254 for nine.

Sharma blasted 133 off 129 balls in a scin­til­lat­ing ef­fort to keep In­dia in the con­test, while man-of-the-match Jhye Richard­son took four for 26 for Aus­tralia.

It was a tonic for the ail­ing Aus­tralians, com­ing off their firstever home Test se­ries de­feat to Vi­rat Kohli’s In­dia and af­ter win­ning just three of their pre­vi­ous 24 ODIs.

Test dis­card Pe­ter Hand­scomb top­scored with 73 off 61 balls for Aus­tralia with Us­man Khawaja and Shaun Marsh also reg­is­tered half-cen­turies.

“I am very pleased with the per­for­mance,” Aus­tralia skip­per Aaron Finch said.

“I think the way they re­built, Ro­hit and MS Dhoni, we knew they will take it deep and we man­aged to pick up the wick­ets at the right time.

“We can al­ways im­prove, our ex­e­cu­tion with the ball was at times off. It will be a good se­ries.”

Hand­scomb, passed over this week by se­lec­tors for this month’s two Tests against Sri Lanka, led the way with six fours and two sixes.

Fel­low Test dis­card Marsh knocked up 54 off 70 balls while Khawaja made 59 from 81.

In­dia’s Bhu­vnesh­war Ku­mar fin­ished with two for 66 and wrist-spin­ner Kuldeep Ya­dav claimed two for 54.

“We are not very pleased with the way we played,” Kohli said.

“I thought we were fine with the ball, score of 300-plus was par on that wicket. We thought 280 was chaseable on that wicket but los­ing three wick­ets in such a short span of time is never good.

“Ro­hit was out­stand­ing and MS Dhoni sup­ported him well but we could have done bet­ter with the tempo of the game.”

In­dia lurched to a dis­as­trous start, los­ing three wick­ets in the first six overs, from which they failed to re­cover.

Shikhar Dhawan was out on the sixth ball of the in­nings when he was leg be­fore wicket for a first­ball duck to ODI debu­tant Ja­son Behren­dorff.

Prodi­gious Sharma

It got worse for In­dia when Kohli was caught at square leg off Richard­son for three and two balls later Am­bati Rayudu was trapped leg be­fore wicket by Richard­son af­ter a re­view for a two-ball duck, leav­ing In­dia rock­ing at four for three.

For­mer World Cup-win­ning cap­tain M.S. Dhoni put on 137 runs with Sharma for the fourth wicket to sta­bilise In­dia’s rocky start be­fore he was out leg be­fore wicket to Behren­dorff for 51 and his 68th ODI half-cen­tury.

Dhoni, 37, who has cap­tained In­dia 332 times across the three for­mats, faced 96 balls and hit three fours and a six.

Sharma kept In­dia in the con­test with some prodi­gious hit­ting, blast­ing six sixes and 10 fours.

But his mighty knock came to an end when he skied Mar­cus Stoi­nis to Glenn Maxwell at deep mid-wicket to end In­dia’s re­main­ing hopes.

All-rounder Stoi­nis re­mained un­beaten on 47 off 43 balls with two fours and two sixes, while lim­ited-over spe­cial­ist Glenn Maxwell fin­ished 11 off just five balls in Aus­tralia’s in­nings.

Aaron Finch fell for six in the third over when he was bowled by Ku­mar for the pace­man’s 100th ODI wicket.

Alex Carey fell in Kuldeep’s first over when he at­tempted to cut the leg-spin­ner, only to get an out­side edge to Sharma at slip for 24 off 31 balls.

Khawaja and Marsh put on 92 runs for the third wicket be­fore Khawaja was out leg be­fore wicket to spin­ner Ravin­dra Jadeja for 59 in the 29th over.

Khawaja was struck on the front pad while at­tempt­ing to sweep and sought a re­view but there was no ‘hot spot’ de­tected off the bat.

Marsh looked well set be­fore he holed out to Mo­hammed Shami off Kuldeep at long on, end­ing a 53-run stand with Hand­scomb, who later found Dhawan at ex­tra cover off Ku­mar.

The sec­ond match in the three­match se­ries takes place in Ade­laide on Tues­day.

The 7th Oman Lo­cal Cham­pi­onship for Horse Beauty or­gan­ised by the Royal Cav­alry at the Di­wan of Royal Court con­cluded, yes­ter­day at Al Rahba Farm for eques­trian sports un­der the aus­pices of Sheikh Saad bin Mo­hammed Al Mard­houf, Min­is­ter of Sports Af­fairs in the pres­ence of a num­ber of min­is­ters and un­der­sec­re­taries and num­ber of per­son­al­i­ties con­cerned with horse beauty cham­pi­onships.

– AFP

WELL DONE MATE: Aus­tralia play­ers cel­e­brate their vic­tory over In­dia in the first one-day in­ter­na­tional (ODI) match at the Syd­ney Cricket Ground in Syd­ney.

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