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India beat Australia by five wickets in the first one-day international of the series on Friday as the visitors struggled to set a target worthy of a traditionally high-scoring deck in Punjab.
The home side chalked up the 276 target with eight balls and plenty of firepower in hand.
Ruturaj Gaikwad builds a solid foundation for India.Credit: Getty Images
Australia will see this game as a missed opportunity to go one up in the series.
After having been sent into bat in stifling, humid conditions at Chandigarh, David Warner (52), Josh Inglis (45), Steve Smith (41) and Marnus Labuschagne (39) all threatened to put Australia in the box seat, but none was able to fully capitalise on promising starts.
Shami (5-51) was the chief destroyer, claiming Mitchell Marsh (four) in the first over, bowling Smith with a magnificent in-ducker and then cleaning up the tail.
It is the fourth ODI in succession that Australia have lost all 10 wickets after their three consecutive defeats by 100-plus runs against South Africa to concede the recent series 3-2.
Australia’s captain Pat Cummins tries to boost the run rate late in the innings.Credit: AP
Warner, who was granted a life on 14 when Shreyas Iyer dropped a sitter at mid-off, added 94 with Smith for the second wicket before miscuing Ravindra Jadeja to Subman Gill in the deep shortly after posting his 29th ODI half-century.
Smith, playing his first game since the Ashes series following an elbow injury, looked solid before being beaten by the brilliance of Shami.
Wicketkeeper KL Rahul fluffed an easy chance to run out Labuschagne on 11, but India’s acting captain eventually got his man, aided by a slice of fortune.
Labuschagne gloved an attempted reverse-sweep of Ravichandran Ashwin and was fractionally outside his crease when the ball bounced off Rahul’s pads and trickled onto the stumps.
The tourists got bogged down in the middle overs and were dealt another blow when Cameron Green, following a 15-minute rain delay, was run out for a painstaking 31.
Inglis, Marcus Stoinis (29) and captain Pat Cummins (21no) managed to raise the scoring rate during the final overs to give the Aussie attack something to bowl at on a traditionally high-scoring deck.
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