India vs Australia: Hardik Pandya, Chahal shine as AUS slip in Chennai rain | india-vs-australia-2017 | Hindustan Times
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India vs Australia: Hardik Pandya, Chahal shine as AUS slip in Chennai rain

Riding on Hardik Pandya’s all-round show and Yuzvendra Chahal’s three-wicket haul, India beat Australia by 26 runs in the rain-hit first ODI in Chennai.

india vs australia 2017 Updated: Sep 18, 2017 08:48 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Hardik Pandya’s 66-ball 83 and 2/28 helped India beat Australia by 26 runs in the rain-hit first ODI in Chennai.
Hardik Pandya’s 66-ball 83 and 2/28 helped India beat Australia by 26 runs in the rain-hit first ODI in Chennai. (PTI)

India thrived under the pressure of playing a one-day match that turned into a Twenty20, inflicting a 26-run defeat (D/L method) on Australia to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series here on Sunday. Electing to bat, the India top order succumbed to the temptation of chasing wide deliveries before all-rounder Hardik Pandya and ‘local boy’ MS Dhoni scored fifties to guide the hosts to 281/7. (India vs Australia 1st ODI Highlights)

A nagging drizzle however reduced Australia’s innings to 21 overs, forcing them to chase 164 for victory. The target would have been par for the course for a Twenty20 match but the visitors just couldn’t make the transition. Losing skipper Steve Smith early to Pandya, Australia capitulated to wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, ultimately finishing on 137/9. (India vs Australia 1st ODI Scores)

Despite the pre-series talk of how India look stronger with the return of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav and KL Rahul being backed to bat at No 4, none made it to the playing XI. Pandya however continues to make a mark, the wiry all-rounder making mincemeat of leg-spinner Adam Zampa to give the throttle needed after a mid-innings slowdown.

Pandya vs Zampa

From 35, Pandya completed his half-century in three hits and looked primed for a century. But Zampa avenged the humiliation with a flatter delivery that resulted in a top edge. By then Dhoni was nearing completion of the phase where he concentrates on picking risk-free singles and twos.

(Read | Hardik Pandya rescues India with timely half-century vs Australia in Chennai)

Australia held on to most of their catches but missed a direct run out of the 36-year-old Dhoni when Kedar Jadhav, four years younger, refused a run to the former India captain who was halfway down the pitch. Nobody missed the glare Dhoni threw at Jadhav, who threw his wicket away off the next ball.

(Read | India vs Australia: Nathan Coulter-Nile’s blows catch India top order off-guard)

Nathan Coulter-Nile rounded off his superb opening effort of dismissing Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey with an economical effort in the death overs. But James Faulkner, making a comeback, messed up by bowling at Dhoni’s pads. That allowed him to shuffle across the stumps and get into his zone with a flurry of boundaries that sent a near-capacity Chennai crowd into tizzy, and gave India a challenging total.

(Read | MS Dhoni completes landmark of 100 half-centuries in international cricket)

Rain-interruption

A 122-minute rain stoppage however made Australia’s chase more difficult. Debutant Hilton Cartwright’s dismissal by Jasprit Bumrah started a procession that quickly extinguished their hopes despite dogged resistance from Glen Maxwell and Faulkner. Pandya accounted for Travis Head too, but the real blows were dealt by the spinners.

David Warner looked good as long as he stayed but couldn’t read Yadav’s straighter delivery that thudded into Dhoni’s gloves after taking a thick edge. But the match was truly over when Maxwell, who hit four sixes in an 18-ball 39, fell prey to a loopy delivery from Chahal.