Chennai: India continued their dominance in limited overs cricket after going 1-0 up in the five-match ODI series against Australia after winning the first game by 26 runs (D/L method) in Chennai, courtesy an all-round show from Hardik Pandya.
Virat Kohli-led India restricted Australia to 137/9 to romp home at MA Chidambaram Stadium while chasing 164 runs from 21 overs in a rain-reduced contest. Australia’s chase was halted twice before play eventually began.
Australia didn’t start the chase well and lost Hilton Cartwright for 1 after he was cleaned up by Jasprit Bumrah. Skipper Steve Smith who came in at number three too didn’t stay for a long time at the crease, courtesy a stunning catch from Bumrah in the outfield. In the fifth over of the innings, Smith tried to slash a length delivery from Pandya but only managed to top edge the ball.
Jasprit Bumrah, stationed at short fine leg, ran backwards and took a blinder after judging the catch perfectly. Smith scored 1 run after facing 5 deliveries in the innings. Australia then lost wickets in quick succession only to get reduced to 35/4 before Glenn Maxwell took the charge and hammered the Indian bowlers all around the park.
The highlight of his cameo role came at Kuldeep Yadav’s expense with a boundary and three continuous sixes. He was eventually dismissed by Chahal for 39 after trying to play against the spin but only managed to give a catch to Manish Pandey in the deep.
Smith’s side once again lost wickets quickly and were left tottering at 109/8. James Faulkner remained unbeaten at 32 as they eventually scored 137/9 in 21 overs. For India, it was Chahal who returned with figures of 3/30 in 5 overs while Pandya and Yadav scalped two wickets apiece. Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar too got a wicket each.
Earlier, India notched up a total of 281/7 in 50 overs after batting first.The hosts too didn’t start off the proceedings well and were reduced to 11/3 and later 87/5 before MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya came in for their rescue.
The two batsmen stitched a stand of 118 runs for the sixth wicket where Pandya smashed 83 runs off just 66 deliveries while Dhoni scored 79 off 88. Middle-order batsman Kedar Jadhav too chipped in with 40 before getting out to Marcus Stoinis. The two sides will next play in Kolkata on Thursday.