Steve Smith and Aaron Finch scored centuries in first ODI match as the visitors lost the game by 66 runs. Powered by the opening partnership of 156 runs by David Warner and Finch, the innings was set and was finished on a high with a speedy century from Smith. Glenn Maxwell also contributed with his quick-fire 45 runs. Chasing the score of 374, the visitors only managed to score 308 runs.
The first match of the ODI series between Australia and India was scheduled in Sydney. The hosts won the toss and elected to field first and it was a straight-forward decision to bat first. There were two century-stands for the first and second wicket that set the tone for the big total. Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood then picked up wickets to steer past the Indian batting line-up to go 1-nil up in the series.
Australia innings – Smith, Finch centuries
David Warner and Aaron Finch the designated opening batsmen for Australia. Started the innings with a lot positivity. Warner was the aggressor while Finch was the rotating the strike. The duo brought up century stand in the 19th over.
Both the openers reached their fifties with ease and eventually bringing up 150-run stand. Warner was the first to go in the 28th over for 69 runs. His partnership of 156 runs with Finch set up the innings for a big total.
Next man to join was Steve Smith, who was playing his first ODI game since his ruling out of the three-match series against England because of concussion. He too was too hot to handle.
Driving the innings, Smith took the driving seat and scored quickly. He brought up his fifty in just 36 balls and soon Finch reached his century, his 17th in the ODIs.
Brining up a 108-run stand for the second wicket, Finch departed in the 40th over after scoring 114 runs. His innings comprised of nine 4s and two 6s.
Marcus Stoinis came to the crease and departed soon after facing just one ball. However, the next man, Glenn Maxwell had other plans. Striking big and long. He scored 45 runs in the space of only 19 balls that included five 4s and three 6s.
Smith also reached to his century of just 62 balls, the third fastest by an Australian batsman, and the innings ended on 374-6. It was Australia’s highest total against India in ODIs.
There was not too much to cherish for Indian bowlers as all the bowlers were hammered for plenty. Mohammed Shami picked up three wickets for 59 runs while Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, and Yuzvendra Chahal picked up one wicket each but all were expensive. Ravindra Jadeja went wicketless and conceded 63 runs.
India innings – Zampa, Hazlewood win it for Australia
Chasing 374 is never too easy. India needed a good start. Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan were the openers for India. A surprised combination since Agarwal getting his chance in the absence of Rohit Sharma.
Both the openers started well and briskly. The pair had fifty-run stand in just 25 balls but soon, the next ball Agarwal was out.
Virat Kohli the next man in. Got the start but could not able to continue as the skipper was out on just 21 runs. Then losing some quick wickets and suddenly the score is 101-4.
Meanwhile, Dhawan is still on crease and joining him out came Hardik Pandya. Some sort of respite from the pair at last. They went on to score 128 runs for the 5th wicket. Pandya was the aggressor. He put up a fighting 90 that included seven 4s and four maximums. Adam Zampa broke the partnership of Dhawan and Pandya. Dhawan was the first to go after scoring 74 and soon Pandya also gone for 90 runs. Both times, it was Zampa.
With match going out of reach of India, Ravindra Jadeja and Navdeep Saini scored some runs in the end but it was a daunting total to chase. The innings ended on 308-8.
Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood were the pick of the bowlers. Leg-spinner picked up four wickets including of Dhawan and Pandya, while the fast bowler picked up three wickets including of Kohli. Mitchell Starc picked up one wicket.
Steve Smith, for his 105 runs off 66 balls that included 11 fours and 4 maximums, was the man of the match in the first of the three ODIs.
Man of the Match: Steve Smith
Result: Australia won by 66 runs
Series: Australia lead the three-match ODI series 1-0