Match report: Aus v Ind – 1st ODI
Melbourne, Feb 5: India have slumped to a 65-run defeat against Australia in the opening match of the tri-series competition that also features Sri Lanka. Set a target of 217 to chase in a rain-curtailed match, the visitors were kept down to just 151 by the hosts.
Earlier, Australia reached a competitive score of 216 in 32 overs riding on feisty knocks by Matthew Wade (67), Michael Hussey (45) and David Hussey (61*). This after MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to field first, and R Vinay Kumar struck in successive overs to remove David Warner (6) and Ricky Ponting (2).
The game was interrupted for three hours as the rain came pouring down in Melbourne. When play resumed a few minutes after 6 pm, the contest was reduced to a 32 overs-a-side affair. Looking to push the scoring rate up, Australia skipper Michael Clarke (1) tried to hit a delivery from Rohit Sharma out of the park, but was caught at deep midwicket by Rahul Sharma. The hosts were 49 for three at the fall of Clarke’s wicket in 14.4 overs.
At this stage, Australia’s fortunes changed for the better. Wade and Michael Hussey added a quick 73 runs for the fourth wicket before the former was bowled by Rahul Sharma off the last ball of the 23rd over. Hussey was dismissed 19 deliveries later, becoming Vinay Kumar’s third victim of the match with the Australian score reading 154 for five.
David Hussey then gave the Australian innings the late flourish it required smashing 61 runs off 30 deliveries. Hussey Jr. added 62 for the sixth wicket with Dan Christian (17*) helping the hosts end their innings at a hefty 216 for five in 32 overs.
The Indians were never really in the contest during their run chase. Sachin Tendulkar (2), making his return to ODIs after the World Cup final last year, was dismissed by Mitchell Starc in the second over of the innings. Starc then removed Gautam Gambhir (5) in his next over to strengthen the hosts’ position.
A 51-run stand followed between Virat Kohli (31) and Rohit Sharma (21) for the third wicket, but with Clint McKay dismissing both batsmen in the space of three deliveries in the 12th over, India’s run chase was completely derailed.
MS Dhoni (29) and Ravindra Jadeja (19) tried to boost the Indian chase with a 37-run stand for the sixth wicket, but with McKay taking two more wickets and left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty grabbing two wickets of his own, India were bowled out for just 151 runs.
India now meet Sri Lanka on February 8 at Perth in the second match of the tri-series competition.
Brief scores: Australia 216/5 in 32.0 overs (Matthew Wade 67, David Hussey 61*, R Vinay Kumar 3/21) beat India 151 all out in 29.4 overs (Virat Kohli 31, MS Dhoni 29, Clint McKay 4/20) by 65 runs
Man-of-the-match: Matthew Wade for his knock of 67 (4x4, 2x6) at the top of the order that set Australia up for a match-winning score of 216