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Australia Excel To Surprise India

Bailey plays a shot
Australia's stand-in captain George Bailey was named man of the match.
©Action Images / Paul Childs Livepic

Australia 304-8 (Bailey 82) beat
India 232 (Faulkner 3-47) by 72 runs
First One-Day International, Pune

Australia surprised India and many pundits with a clinical all-round display to comfortably win the first One-Day International in Pune.

Aaron Finch and captain George Bailey both hit half-centuries as Australia posted an imposing 304 for eight after winning the toss and electing to bat. Nonetheless, India’s formidable batting line-up would have still fancied their chances and things looked good at the midway point of their innings with Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli going strong.

However, Raina was dismissed by James Faulkner and what followed was a steady procession of wickets as the new batsmen struggled to keep pace with a spiralling required run rate. When the third-wicket stand was progressing towards its eventual 71, the rate remained below eight and the match in the balance. Yuvraj Singh, though, wasn’t able to repeat his heroics from the T20 International and fell for just seven, while Kohli followed soon afterwards for 61.

At 166 for five, with the required run rate now at around nine an over, the match was as good as done. The lower-order didn’t prolong things too long, with part-timers Adam Voges and Aaron Finch wrapping things up with a wicket apiece.

Rohit Sharma had earlier got the Indian run chase off to an elegant start, but he was caught by Phil Hughes off Shane Watosn for 42 off 47 balls in the 14th over.

Australia’s bowlers were a class above their Indian counterparts, with the opening pair of Mitchell Johnson and Clint McKay leading the way with combined figures of 20-0-74-3. By contrast, India’s opening pair of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Vinay Kumar returned figures of 16-3-109-1.

Australia’s batting was also a real team effort, although Bailey and Finch set the agenda. Finch and Phil Hughes got the innings off to a fine start, adding 110 in little more than 18 overs for the first-wicket. Hughes was removed by the pick of India’s attack, Ravindra Jadeja (1-35), when on 47, but Bailey guided the middle of the innings brilliantly.

Despite losing partners at fairly regular intervals, Bailey looked remained positive and had reached 85 off only 82 balls by the time he was dismissed in the closing overs. He received some brief support from Glenn Maxwell, who struck three sixes during a cameo off 31 off 23 balls. James Faulkner then added a brace of maximums of his own to ensure that the Australian innings ended with a bang.

© Cricket World 2013