Hardik Pandya hit an audacious 66-ball 83 and then took 2/28 as India beat Australia by 26 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the first One-Day International of their series in Chennai on Sunday. Australia had to chase 164 in 21 overs after a long rain interruption and could only 137/9.
India’s top order was blown away by Australia’s pacers, especially Nathan Coulter-Nile and though Rohit Sharma and Kedar Jadhav tried to make a recovery, it was Pandya and Dhoni who played two brilliant knocks to keep India in the hunt. Pandya hit three sixes off Zampa and set India on their way while Dhoni started hitting out after Pandya’s wicket.
Australia were never in the game losing wickets regularly. Steve Smith went for just 1 and David Warner scored 25 but it was only Glenn Maxwell who provided some hope with a 18-ball 39. That did not prove to be enough though as India’s two wrist-spinners ensured it would be Virat Kohli’s night.
10.17 pm: And that’s it. A rather tame ending after all the action earlier but Kohli will take it. India go up 1-0 with a 26-run win. Australia were never in the chase at all. Pandya took 2/28 to go with his batting heroics and Chahal took 3/30.
9.50 pm: The Chennai homecoming is complete for Dhoni. Wade comes out of his crease and Dhoni does the rest for Chahal. Australia 92/7 and hurtling faster towards a deep, dark defeat.
9.30 pm: But the rage gets the better of him. A shot a ball will only get you that. Wants to clobber Chahal but only holes out to Pandey. To make matters worse, Stoinis also holes out next over. Now they are 76/6.
9.25 pm: Maxwell is raging. Trying to make a fist of it. Clobbers Kuldeep Yadav for 22 in an over, ala Pandey. He has a way lot to do. Australia 70/4.
9.10 pm: That should be the game. Kuldeep Yadav bamboozles David Warner who edges behind. Dhoni takes a sharp catch. Australia 35/4.
9.03 pm: Ek aur. Hardik Pandya doing it with the bat and Hardik Pandya doing it with the ball. The knuckle ball, Travis Head takes an almighty swing at it and only manages to edge it behind. Australia collapsing...31/3 in 7 overs.
9.00 pm: Huge wicket! This pitch is definitely not coming on...and it gets Smith to Pandya. Smith tried to tuck it away, top-edges, goes very high...and Bumrah takes a very important catch. How important was that?! Australia 21/2.
8.47 pm: Gone! Cartwright’s painful stay ends. Hardly got any runs, played an ugly swipe to Bumrah who cleaned him through. He goes for 1. Australia 15/1.
8.38 pm: It’s a quiet start for Australia. 7/0 off 2 overs. Bhuvi and Bumrah have been tight.
8.16 pm: We’re hearing rain has stopped and the covers are off. But no updates on when and if the match will start. The cut-off is not far away now. Play to resume at 8.30 pm. Australia need 164 in 21 overs.
7.41 pm: The drizzle seems to have intensified and we have to remind you that 8.34 pm is the cut-off time. If there’s any rain after that, the match is over. Still a while left though..
While you’re waiting, why not check out some other stuff? In particular, PV Sindhu got sweet revenge today after beating Okuhara to win the Korea Super Series.
And Pandya’s knock today drew comparisons with..err...the petrol price in India.
7.30 pm: On and off and on and on. It was supposed to start at 7.25 pm, umpires came out, we almost started...then it started drizzling and the groundsmen came half-way with the covers. Now we don’t know, if we’ll play or not. Just that kind of day.
6.52 pm: The covers come on again which means the calculations go for a toss. We’ll keep you updated. Hopefully, we will have a match.
6.40 pm: We have an update, kind of. Play to resume at 7.00 pm flashed the official broadcaster. It will be a 43-over match. No update yet on the runs Australia will have to score.
6.25 pm: Considering these tweets, the rain hasn’t abated. We will definitely lose overs now.
6.00 pm: Rain stops play. Unfortunately, it started drizzling during the last over and the covers are still on, last we checked. It should hopefully blow away soon, but there will be a delayed start.
5.31 pm: And some more audacious hitting from Dhoni takes India to 281/7. What a recovery from 11/3. Dhoni finished on 79, a brilliant knock and the first time he was dismissed since the Sri Lanka series.
The man of the moment though was Hardik Pandya who changed the course of the game with his strokeplay.
5.15 pm: Oh this is Dhoni at his best. Gets a fifty off 75 balls, then takes Faulkner for a 4, 6 and 4 in one over .This is how he is...the best finisher in the world. India inching towards 280 even..262/6 in 48.
5.00 pm: Pandya’s wicket means there’s going to be some re-calibration about the target. Dhoni’s got a boundary, Bhuvi’s got two. They must be looking at 260-odd. Which could be enough on this slow surface. 228/6 with five to go.
4.45 pm: And after all that...Zampa gets his man. He’s been smashed ferociously, but keeps his cool and gets Pandya to commit a mistake. An 66-ball 83 one. What a knock. Changed the course of the game. India 206/6.
4.30 pm: PANDYA SMASH. Oh it was coming and when it arrives, it’s big. Smashes Adam Zampa for a four and three HUUUUGE sixes. Has that changed the momentum of this Indian innings? 24 came off that over. Pandya brought up his 50 and even take Coulter-Nile for a four next over. 280 on the cards? India 178/5 off 38.
4.13 pm: This is nice rebuilding from the two. The partnership has crossed 50 and is currently 56 at a reasonable 75 balls. Pandya is warming up and looks set to go big anytime now. India 143/5.
3.50 pm: The Dhoni-Pandya partnership has now crossed 30. But Pandya has Smith to thank...who’s again missed/dropped a catch because he didn’t crouch forward. Not been a great day in the slips for the Aussie captain. India 118/5 in 28.
3.30 pm: Right. India are deep in the woods, but Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni are good people to have. Dhoni is playing in his kingdom of Chennai while Pandya is an explosive, audacious batsman. Check out this dab over the keeper for four. India are 104/5 at the halfway stage.
3.18pm: WICKET! Kedar falls for 40. Stoinis strikes again with another short delivery. Kedar rushes into the shot and is caught by midwicket by Cartwright. India 87/5 after 21.3 overs.
3.12pm: Dhoni has begun well since coming to crease. Was welcomed with loud cheers by the Chepauk faithful. He and Kedar have a tough task of digging India out from here. India 84/4 (20).
2.54pm: WICKET! Rohit falls on 28. Holes out to Coulter-Nile off Stoinis. Rohit played a mistimed shot off a short delivery from Stoinis. Dhoni joins Kedar in the middle. India 64/4 after 16 overs.
2.46pm: India have recovered well since the early three wickets. Rohit-Jadhav have added 46 runs so far for the fourth wicket. India 57/3 after 14 overs.
2.35 pm: Some relief for India. The turbo-charged pace duo of Cummins and Coulter-Nile are off and on, in their place, are the more medium-pace offerings of Marcus Stoinis and James Faulkner. Jadhav has looked a little edgy but is going well. And we all know the damage Rohit Sharma can do. India 41/3 after 12 overs.
2.20 pm: Kedar Jadhav has settled the nerves a little with two boundaries. Rohit Sharma also looks far more settled, though Steve Smith has dropped him once. India 30/3.
And another look at that Maxwell catch to dismiss Kohli:
2.00 pm: AND HE’S GONE FOR A DUCK! Coulter-Nile is breathing fire. Kohli chased a wide delivery and sliced it to a leapign Maxwell. What a catch. What a wicket. Then he gets Manish Pandey also for a duck. Also edging behind! What is happening?
1.52 pm: Virat Kohli is in the house, people. And perhaps a trifle earlier than he wanted. Rahane wasn’t getting runs, went for a wide slash and edged behind to Wade. India 11/1.
That’s also Coulter-Nile’s first international wicket in 448 days.
1.40 pm: We’re off. It’s actually a quiet start. Australia’s two pacers, Pat Cummins and Nathan Coulter-Nile are getting carry and bounce and testing Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane. Cautious. India 4/0.
1.20 pm: Apologies, seems like the wrong playing XI for India was provided. Shami isn’t playing. Bhuvi is. Here are the two teams as they line up:
1.15 pm: Virat Kohli wins the toss and will bat first. Interesting. Here’s India’s team. No Shikhar Dhawan, so Rahane will open. Also no Jadeja. Two wrist-spinners and two pacers.