Vineet Sharma/Zeenews Sports
Melbourne: Australia beat India by a comprehensive margin of 65 runs after the batsmen lost the plot completely in the rain marred 32-over-a-side game.
Starting without the services of Virender Sehwag, the onus was on Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir to give a fiery start and they fizzled out quickly, an act that was followed by a lot of other batsmen throughout the Indian innings.
IT’S OVER! Over 29.4: Ryan Harris caught a blinder in the deep to get the last wicket in the form of Praveen Kumar as India were bundled out for 151 runs. Clint McKay ended the night with four glorious wickets to his name.
Over 25.1: Dhoni OUT Indian skipper MS Dhoni (29) was caught brilliantly by David Warner to all put make the win inevitable with the penultimate wicket falling.
SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT! Overs 22 - 23: Ravindra Jadeja (19) was caught in the deep while trying to hit a big one. Clint McKay got his third victim of the match.
Ravichandran Ashwin was run out in the next over and the misery continued with Rahul Sharma being clean bowled as the scorecard read 123/8 (23.5 Ovs).
Overs 18– 20: Xavier Doherty and Daniel Christian kept a tight line and length to keep the pressure on the batsmen whose primary focus at the juncture was to retain wickets. India went past the 100-run mark as the required rate was picking up.
Overs 14.2– 17: MS Dhoni and Jadeja held onto their nerves and thwarted an array of ‘Throat Balls’ to steady the innings.
OZ ON TOP! Over 14.2: Suresh Raina (4) couldn’t step-up to the task at hand and perished with an ordinary shot, awarding Daniel Christian his first scalp of the evening.
The scorecard read 77/5 (14.2 Ovs) as Ravindra Jadeja walked out to take guard.
OUT AND OUT! Over 11: It was just after the 11th over that rain played spoilsport in the Australian innings but the second part was spared the torture. However, Ricky Ponting took an awesome catch to see off Virat Kohli (31) just when he looked menacing.
Clint McKay got his first scalp of the night and complimented it with another one soon after. The dreaded over was not done for the visitors as Rohit Sharma (21) too followed his partner to the pavilion as the scorecard read 65/4 (11.4 Ovs).
Overs 8– 10: The Indian batsmen took the total past the 50-run mark with the help of quick scoring. Seven runs were gathered in the 10th over.
Overs 3.3 – 7: Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma took India to 32/2 at the end of 7 overs with a few gutsy boundaries after the disastrous start to the run chase.
WICKET! Over 3.2: Gautam Gambhir (5) followed Sachin soon after. Mitchell Starc claimed his second scalp with the Indian openers back in the pavilion.
Gambhir was out in a similar fashion once again. It was a short of a length and outside off delivery, swinging away from Gambhir. He poked at it and got a healthy outside edge.
Over 1.4: SACHIN OUT! Starc bowled it really wide outside off, Tendulkar (2) leaned forward to drive it only to be collected by Ponting at point.
India were set a target of 217 runs (D/L) by a charged-up Australian outfit at the MCG. The game saw rain reduce the number of overs and the home team simply stepped-up the run-rate and made sixes and fours a regular feature.
The first ODI saw Vinay Kumar take three wickets to bolster his chances on the tour and he was on cue for most part of the game, a respite from his wayward performances earlier.
Overs 30 - 32 : Australia, riding high on the flurry of runs scored in the last 12 overs, gave a steep total to chase as David Hussey (61*) became the wrecker-in-charge with a whirlwind half century. 19 runs came off the last over to end the Australian innings at 216/5.
Overs 26.1 - 29 : Australia 176/5 in 29 overs. The death overs came with both the teams frantically trying to get the best deal rolled out with quick runs and smart bowling.
WICKET No. 5! Over 26.1: Australia took the batting powerplay and Vinay Kumar reaped the benefits, claiming Michael Hussey (45) with a shorter one.
Overs 24 - 26 : Michael and David Hussey slammed sixes and fours, ran aggressively and put Dhoni’s men under pressure as the death overs approached. They took the total past 150 runs and the last 50 were scored in just 33 balls.
SHARMA STRIKES! Over 23: Rahul Sharma got his first victim as he bowled Matthew Wade (67) with the scorecard reading 122/4 (23.0 Ovs).
Sharma bowled a quicker delivery but landed it on a short of length and it skid through low as Wade looked to swat it over mid wicket, getting an inside edge and the ball crashed into the off stump,
Overs 21 - 22 : Wade had unleashed his inner demon and lofted one up into the stands in the 22nd over as the run-rate climbed up over five with as many as 12 runs being scored in the over.
Overs 18 - 20 : Matthew Wade slammed a fifty to take the home team’s total to 100/3 amid a few strong hits to the boundary. Hussey too was quick in his approach and helped in the cause.
Overs 15 – 17: Australia 71/3. Michael Hussey tried to hold on with Wade as the latter neared a fifty with spinners bowling in tandem. The two rotated the strike and used the loose ones to be dispatched for fours.
THIRD BLOW! Over 14.4: Rohit Sharma got India the third breakthrough as he got Michael Clarke (10) out. The batsman tried to charge down the pitch to accelerate the scoring and was caught in the deep by Rahul Sharma.
Over 12 – 14 : Virat Kohli started the second act of the first innings as Clarke and Wade looked to step-up the scoring after a frustrating delay that changed the semantics of the team strategy.
The first ODI at the MCG finally started after rain played hide and seek for close to two hours, forcing the reduction in the number of overs.
Update 12:34 IST Pending no more rain, the match will be 32 overs per side, with powerplays of 3 overs each. The ODI could start at 12:48 PM IST.
Rounds of Melbourne showers thwarted the efforts to start play but the primary concern was the passing away of the water-laden cloud cover that was bucketing the ground.
Over 11 : Wade heaved the first six of the innings and then followed it up with a four to end the 11th over on a high. However, rain gods played spoilsport and play had to be stopped as covers had to come on the field at MCG.
Overs 7 – 10 Keeping the noose tight on the Australian top order, the Indian pacers executed a game-plan to uphold their team’s image of being an ODI world champion and were right on target in the first phase.
Double Whammy! Over 7.4: Oz were reeling at 19/2 as Vinay Kumar was doubly lethal, claiming the prized scalp of Ricky Ponting. The million dollar baby was surely proving his money’s worth by getting early wickets.
Overs 5.2 – 7: The Indian bowlers were very tight in their line and length, not giving any room to the Australians. Bowling primarily in the good length areas, they restricted the total to 18/1 at the end of 7 overs.
BREAKTHROUGH! Over 5.1: Speedster Vinay Kumar clean bowled dangerman David Warner (6) to draw first blood. Kumar stayed round the wicket for Warner and angled in a full ball on middle and off which cut back in as Warner looked to mow it over mid wicket, missing and the ball crashed into middle and leg stump.
Overs 3 – 5: The first boundary of the Oz innings came in the fifth over off Matthew Wade’s blade with Praveen being the recipient of the special treatment. Slow scoring aside, neither of the sides had an edge at the point as the scorecard read 15/0 at the end of 5 overs.
Overs 1 - 2: Caution was the keyword as openers got their eyes set-in. There was a spot of excitement as the umpires decided to not award any runs for an overthrow in the second over as it was an inadvertent one.
India captain MS Dhoni had won the toss and elected to field first against Australia in the first ODI of the tri-series on Sunday.
India made one change to the squad by resting opener Virender Sehwag. Team India was bolstered by the return of Sachin Tendulkar back into the ODI squad first time after the World Cup final as the visitors locked horns for dominance in the most popular format of the game.
After the win in the second T20, the first one in the tour, the battered and bruised Indian team were able to regain some pride going into the tri-series involving Sri Lanka and Australia.
Meanwhile, due to a foot injury, Australia will miss the services of pacer Brett Lee for series. Lee suffered the injury in the previous T20 game to when he was hit hard by a shot from Dhoni.
Australia: David Warner, Matthew Wade, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey, David Hussey, Daniel Christian, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Starc, Clint McKay, Xavier Doherty.
India: Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Rahul Sharma, R Vinay Kumar, Praveen Kumar.
Pitch Report: It is a typical Australian wicket - pretty hard and with a fair amount of grass. It may slow down later on in the evening and there are chances of rain as well as the day goes on.