Steve Smith leads Australia to victory over India in first ODI

Published: Tuesday 12th January 2016 by The News Editor

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Steve Smith led by example as Australia won the first one-day international against India by five wickets in Perth.

The Baggy Green captain fired his way to 149 from 135 balls and his third-wicket stand of 242 alongside fellow centurion George Bailey was the catalyst for victory at the WACA.

On a friendly Perth pitch, India had made 309 for three, with Rohit Sharma’s magnificent 171 not out the highest ODI score against Australia on their own soil.

However Smith and Bailey, who made 112, steadied a shaking Australian ship after the early loss of openers Aaron Finch and David Warner to surpass the target with four balls remaining.

India lost Shikhar Dhawan for just nine but fellow opener Sharma set his mind to the task and, alongside Kohli, he set about racking up the runs.

Kohli secured his first 50 in an ODI against Australia in Australia and he fell nine runs short of a century when he was well caught by Finch off James Faulkner.

India captain MS Dhoni promoted himself to number four and a cameo of 18 from 13 balls kept India ticking over with Rohit still lurking at the crease.

India clocked up 61 runs from the final five overs, with Rohit eventually ending with 13 fours and seven sixes in a breathtaking 163-ball innings.

It was a particularly tough introduction to ODIs for Australian pair Scott Boland and Joel Paris, who finished with combined figures of nought for 127 on their debuts, but Smith’s experience soon came to the fore.

Finch was the first Australian to depart when he was caught and bowled by Barinder Sran for eight.

Sran, who finished with figures of three for 56, took his second scalp soon after as Warner was caught by Kohli for just five but that was to be the end of the wickets for a while as Smith and Bailey settled down for the long haul.

Bailey, who actually had a let-off from his first ball when a glove through to wicketkeeper Dhoni was not spotted, put in an impressive showing alongside his skipper as Australia showed no signs of letting up.

He secured his third ODI century before being caught by Bhuvneshwar Kumar off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin.

Smith kept his cool but was eventually snared in the final over of the game when he clipped Sran’s slower ball into the lap of Kohli at short cover.

At that stage Australia still needed two runs from five balls and, after a wide from Sran, Faulkner duly stepped up to claim the single needed for victory and complete the highest successful ODI chase at the WACA.

Published: Tuesday 12th January 2016 by The News Editor

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