Australia skipper Aaron Finch expressed his delight after his side won the first ODI against India by 34 runs at the SCG on Saturday.
Fifties from Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb and an unbeaten 47 from Marcus Stoinis helped Australia post a competitive 288 for 5. Australia’s innings was off to a shaky start after two wickets fell in the opening 10 overs. Skipper Aaron Finch was out in the very third over before Alex Carey followed him in the dressing room as Australia found themselves 2 down for 41.
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However, a 92-run stand between Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja helped Australia get back on track. Ravindra Jadeja broke the stand by dismissing Khawaja for 58. Another fifty-plus stand between Marsh and Peter Handscomb laid the platform for a good total for the hosts before some big blows from Stoinis towards the end helped the hosts finish their innings strongly. Handscomb was the top-scorer for Australia with 73 from 61 balls including six fours and two sixes.
In reply, India made a disastrous start. They found themselves 3 down for just 4 runs with Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu back in the hut cheaply. MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma then steadied the ship. With too much pressure on them, they did not go for the shots at all and just relied on occasional boundaries. However, as the innings progressed the two opened their arms and reached their consecutive fifties. But their 137-run stand ended in a disappointing manner when umpire Michael Gough gave a wrong decision to adjudge Dhoni lbw. The former India skipper departed after scoring 51 off 96 balls.
But unlike Dhoni, Rohit stayed firm and went on to score a stunning ton to keep India in chase. However, he lost partners at regular intervals. With the required rate mounting, Rohit finally departed after scoring 133 off 129 balls. India eventually finished on 254 for 9.
Following the game, skipper Aaron Finch lavished praise on his teammates for the impressive win.
“Ya very pleased with the performance. We needed to take it deep with the ball and took the wickets at the crucial time. I thought we got a par total, Peter played a gem. In the middle period we played really well. We didn’t score a lot of runs in the middle overs but we saved the wickets for the final overs. Jhye and Jason are full of confidence, they both have a good future ahead of them. We can always improve, it will be a good series,” he said.