Mohammed Shami bowls a delivery during the first ODI in Mohali, India, on Friday. AP
Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad hit fifties at the top, followed by captain KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav notching up half-centuries in guiding India to five-wicket win over Australia in the ODI series opener, at PCA Stadium on Friday.
Veteran fast-bowler Mohammed Shami shined for India in the first innings, picking the second five-for of his ODI career as India bowled out Australia for 276. The two-paced pitch seemed to have eased out a bit in the second innings, making the path of taking a 1-0 lead easier for India.
In the chase, Gill and Gaikwad combined to share a stand of 142 runs for the opening wicket. Gill, playing his first international match at home, made 74 off 63 balls while Gaikwad scored 77-ball 71, also his first ODI fifty.
After the duo followed, by Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan fell, Rahul stepped up under pressure yet again, scoring a 63-ball 58, with four boundaries and a match-winning lofted six to seal a clinical win with eight balls to spare. The victory also takes India to top of ODI rankings and also marks their first win over Australia at the venue after November 1996.
What would have greatly pleased the team management was the restraint in shot-selection and calmness in the situation shown by Suryakumar, while making a 49-ball 50. It was a much-needed third half-century in the format from Suryakumar to ease questions on his 50-over adaptability, while sharing a 60-run stand with Rahul.
Gill and Gaikwad began the chase by playing their shots with immaculate ease against the pacers. While Gill used timing, placement and elegance, apparent from his 90m pulled six off Marcus Stoinis, to shine on his home turf, Gaikwad took time to get going.
He also got a life on 17 when his catch was dropped by wicketkeeper Josh Inglis off Sean Abbott’s bowling. After that, Gaikwad began going for his shots, being delightful in punching and driving through point and cover regions as India made 66 runs in the first power-play.
Gill was quick in attacking against debutant Matthew Short’s part-time off-spin, smashing a four and six in the 14th over, to get his fifth fifty of the year off 37 balls. Four overs later, Gaikwad got his first ODI fifty off 60 deliveries with a brace.
The 142-run opening stand was broken in the 22nd over when Gaikwad was trapped lbw off Adam Zampa, missing a fuller delivery while attempting to sweep. After Shreyas was run-out for just three post a mix-up, Zampa castled Gill with a skiddy delivery, leaving India nervy.
Zampa could have got his fourth wicket if he hadn’t dropped Rahul’s catch on one off his own bowling. It gave India good fortune as Rahul and Kishan began to take boundaries off him. But Pat Cummins took out Kishan in the 33rd over, when an attempted upper cut took a faint edge to the keeper.
Suryakumar shed his propensity to pre-mediate and hardly swept any deliveries. Right from the ramp, glance to the fine and textbook straight drives, fans were witnessing a very different and calmer version of Suryakumar.
Shortly after getting his fifty, Suryakumar fell to Abbott after flicking straight to square leg. An assured Rahul stepped up to hit a four and six on last two balls of the chase, reaching his fifty and then finishing off the chase in style to get a convincing win for India.
In the afternoon, Shami struck the first blow by getting a length delivery to shape away and take the outside edge of Mitchell Marsh’s front-foot defence to second slip on his fourth ball of the match.
Warner and Steve Smith joined forces to share a 94-run partnership for the second wicket. Warner was brutal in hitting boundaries off Shardul Thakur, and even got a life on 14 when Shreyas dropped his catch in what was the start of sloppy fielding day for India.
Shortly after getting his 29th ODI fifty, Warner fell for 52 after a miscued slog-sweep was caught in the deep against Jadeja. Shami came back to castle Smith with a length ball taking the inside edge to hit the stumps. Rahul missed a run-out chance of Marnus Labuschagne, but ten overs later played a hand in getting the right-handed batter out.
In an attempt to reverse-sweep against Ashwin, Labuschagne got a spike on the ball which went behind and Rahul failed to latch on it. The ball hit his right leg and ricocheted to hit the stumps, when Labuschagne's back foot was outside the crease, ending his knock at 39, bringing his 45-run third-wicket stand with Cameron Green to a close.
A mix-up between Green and Josh Inglis saw the former being run-out for 31. Inglis and Stoinis tried to resurrect Australia’s innings trough their sixth-wicket stand of 62 off 43 balls. But Shami’s return brought back India by castling Stoinis with a nip-backer on a good length.
Inglis was next to depart, miscuing to extra cover off Bumrah, followed by Shami having Short caught at cow corner and castling Abbott to complete a five-wicket haul. Cummins smashed two fours and a six in his nine-ball 21 before Zampa was run-out on last ball of Australia’s innings, as the visitors lost their last five wickets for 28 runs.
Riding on a stupendous batting performance by stand-in captain Shikhar Dhawan and debutant Ishan Kishan, india defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets in their first one-day international match on Sunday.
Though there was a rearguard action from Hardik Pandya, who got his highest ODI score (90 off 76 balls) and added 128 runs for the fifth wicket with opener Shikhar Dhawan (74 off 86), Australia's total of 374 for six wickets in 50 overs.
Opener Ishan Kishan hit the fastest-ever double century in one-day internationals in just 126 balls to set up a 227-run consolation win for India in the third match against Bangladesh on Saturday.
The Girls in Green, Fatima Sana and Shawal Zulfiqar, sailed the team towards victory. Fatima's 3 wickets for 18 runs guided the girls towards a crucial first win and Shawal's 41 runs off 42 balls helped Pakistan chase the 128-run target set by the Kiwis.
South Africa’s Blitzboks overcame a spirited Argentina 12-7 to lift their fifth straight Emirates Dubai 7s trophy – equaling the record for successive titles at a single location. Although Argentina had to settle for silver it represented their best ever result in Dubai.
The 18-year-old Bojica, whose entry on the big stage of women’s tennis came at the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open earlier this year, eased past Slovakia’s Nina Danisova 6-2, 6-3 in 99 minutes to set a meeting against eighth seed Peangtarn Plipuech of Thailand.
Connor Beasley claimed his 19th winner for the season with a treble at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Saturday, a haul that included victory in the feature Union Day Stakes, aboard Ahmad Bin Harmash’s Delorean, who went gate-to-wire in the contest over a mile. It was one of two wins for in-form trainer Harmash,