KL Rahul’s unbeaten half-century helped India defeat Australia by five wickets in the first ODI of the three-match series at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday night (March 17).
Chasing a below-par total of 189, India was in early trouble and was further reduced to 83/5 in the 20 overs. However, Rahul (75 not out) and Ravindra Jadeja’s (45 not out)) century-plus stand took the team home and gave a 1-0 lead in the series.
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India won with 61 balls to spare. The second ODI is in Visakhapatnam on Sunday (March 19).
India was 16/3 and subsequently 39/4 but Rahul held his nerves during a 91-ball knock that had seven fours and a six. He added 108 for the unbroken sixth wicket stand alongside Jadeja.
Earlier, Mohammad Shami and Mohammed Siraj shared three wickets apiece as India bowled out hapless Australia for a mere 188 in 35.4 overs.
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The collapse was an inexplicable one as Australia lost the last six wickets for only 19 runs in a space of 7.5 overs as Hardik Pandya’s decision to bring in Shami for a quick second spell turned out to be decisive.
The delivery to Cameron Green that sent the off-stump cart-wheeling was a real peach. It pitched on line of off-stump and Green had to commit but there was shade late movement that beat the batter and knocked back the off-stump.
The veteran pacer helped India pull things back in control after an attacking 65-ball 81 from Mitchell Marsh set Australia on the course of a competitive total, as his second spell of 3-2-8-3 broke the back of Australia’s resistance after a sparkling start. Shami finished with brilliant figures of 6-2-17-3.
On the other hand, Siraj, who provided an early wicket in the second over, also enjoyed success in his second spell to return with 5.4-1-29-3, snaffling the last two wickets in the Australian innings.
Marsh provided Australia with a rollicking start, cracking 10 fours and five sixes in his first-ever innings as an opener in ODIs, on his comeback to international cricket after a three-month layoff following an ankle surgery.
1ST ODI. India Won by 5 Wicket(s) https://t.co/BAvv2E8K6h #INDvAUS @mastercardindia
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 17, 2023
(With agency inputs)