Rohit Sharma’s Ton Goes in Vain as Australia Beat India by 34 Runs
Electing to bat, Australia posted 288 for five at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Electing to bat, Australia posted 288 for five at the Sydney Cricket Ground. (Photo: AP)

Rohit Sharma’s Ton Goes in Vain as Australia Beat India by 34 Runs

Snapshotclose

  • Australia beat India by 34 runs, lead the three-match series 1-0.
  • Australia: 288/5 in 50 overs. (P Handscomb 73, U Khawaja 59 ; K Yadav 2/54)
  • India: 254/9 in 50 overs (R Sharma 133, M S Dhoni 51; J Richardson 4/26)

Rohit Sharma's individual brilliance couldn’t save India the blushes as the top and middle order crumbled in India’s 34-run defeat against Australia in the first One-day International in Sydney on Saturday.

Sharma conjured up a magnificent 133 of 129 balls for his 22nd ODI hundred but eventually it only helped in reducing the defeat-margin as India ended up at 254 for nine while chasing a 289-run target.

Three of India’s top four batsmen could not reach double-digit and lasted a mere 11 balls.

India were gasping after losing three batsmen at a single-digit score of four before Sharma and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (51) combined to stitch together a 137-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Debutant Jason Behrendorff broke the partnership by sending back Dhoni, who became only the fifth Indian batsman to complete 10,000 runs in ODI cricket during his knock that came off 96 balls.

The hosts owe their 1-0 lead in the three-match series to a collective batting effort by their middle-order batsmen, specially Peter Handscomb, who switched gears in time to steer his side to 288 for five with his 73-run knock.

Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis (47 not out) grabbed the momentum with their 68-run stand for the fifth wicket as Australia scored 93 runs in the last 10 overs.

Usman Khawaja (59) and Shaun Marsh (54) also scored half-centuries for the hosts who lost skipper Aaron Finch (6) in a slow start after electing to bat.

Richardson Rich Haul

 Australia’s Jhye Richardson (right) celebrate the fall of Virat Kohli’s wicket in Sydney on Saturday, Jan 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)  
Australia’s Jhye Richardson (right) celebrate the fall of Virat Kohli’s wicket in Sydney on Saturday, Jan 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)  
(Photo: AP)
Young paceman Jhye Richardson (4/26) rocked the Indian middle order by dismissing India skipper Virat Kohli (3) and Ambati Rayudu (0) in space of three balls and later added wickets of Dinesh Karthik and Ravindra Jadeja in a career-best performance.

First, Behrendorff (2-39) trapped Shikhar Dhawan lbw for a first-ball duck before Richardson swung into action. Kohli was caught at short square leg, and then two balls later Rayudu (0) was trapped plumb lbw, as the Indian top-order was destroyed.

It put huge brakes on the scoring even as Sharma and Dhoni struggled to get going. So much so, India managed only a paltry 21-3 in the first ten overs.

Rohit, Dhoni’s Rescue Act

India’s Rohit Sharma (right) and M S Dhoni  during the 1st ODI vs Australia in Sydney, on Saturday, Jan 12, 2019.
India’s Rohit Sharma (right) and M S Dhoni during the 1st ODI vs Australia in Sydney, on Saturday, Jan 12, 2019.
(Photo: AP)

Their 50-stand came off 82 balls, while they took India past 100 in the 26th over even as Australia started to feel the pressure.

Sharma reached his half-century off 62 balls, while Dhoni reached his 68th ODI half-century off 93 balls.

Thanks to the initial caution, India were only placed at 141/4 in the 32nd over, when Dhoni was trapped lbw by Behrendorff.

Sharma was starting to run out of partners thereafter as Richardson castled Dinesh Karthik in the 40th over.

The run-chase came to an informal end by the 46th over as Ravindra Jadeja (8) and Sharma holed out in the space of ten balls.

Marcus Stoinis (2/66) dismissed Sharma, and India's hopes perished with him for there was too much for the remaining tail-enders to do.

Australia’s Late Surge

Australia’s Shaun Marsh drives the ball against India during the 1st ODI in Sydney, on Saturday, Jan 12, 2019.
Australia’s Shaun Marsh drives the ball against India during the 1st ODI in Sydney, on Saturday, Jan 12, 2019.
(Photo: AP)
Earlier, India spinners Kuldeep Yadav (2/54) and Jadeja (1/48) shared three wickets between them while pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/66) accounted for two batsmen.

Kumar bowled Finch (6) in the third over, an in-swinger slipping in through the gate.

Alex Carey (24) made a good start and was looking set for a longer innings, when Yadav outfoxed him in his very first over, caught at slip off a quicker top-spinner. Australia only managed 41-2 in the first 10 overs.

It brought Khawaja and Marsh together, and they put on 92 runs off 111 balls for the third wicket. In doing so, they pushed India to make changes in the middle overs.

(With inputs from PTI)

(The Quint is now available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

Follow our Cricket section for more stories.

    Also Watch