Australia beats India by 5 wickets in series-opening ODI
PERTH, Australia (AP) Steve Smith and George Bailey scored centuries and shared a 242-run partnership as Australia beat India by five wickets in the series-opening limited-overs international on Tuesday, reaching the victory target of 310 with four balls to spare.
After winning the toss and batting, the visitors posted 309-3 with Rohit Sharma scoring an unbeaten 171 from 163 balls and Virat Kohli contributing 91 to a 207-run second-wicket partnership, surpassing the record 199 for India against Australia held by Sachin Tendulkar and V.V.S Laxman since 2001.
The Indian top-order batsmen dominated an inexperienced Australian attack on the true WACA wicket, with James Faulkner's 2-60 the pick of the bowling figures.
The World Cup champions were in trouble at 2-21 in reply, with Barinda Sran (3-56) removing opener Aaron Finch (8) and David Warner (5) before Smith and Bailey set up the victory with the fourth-highest ODI partnership ever for Australia.
Momentum swung after Bailey was given not out after appearing to glove a legside catch off Sran to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on his first ball.
With no Decision Review System in play, India had nowhere else to appeal when umpire Richard Kellenborough ruled Bailey not out.
He went on to score 112 from 120 balls and was instrumental in helping Smith, who scored 149 from 135 balls before he was dismissed in the last over, take the ascendency against India's slow bowlers in the middle overs.
The match was all but over when Smith chipped a Sran to cover on the first ball of the last over. Mitch Marsh finished unbeaten on 12 and James Faulkner (1) hit the winning run as Australia reached 310-5.
Smith, the Australia captain, won the player of the match award despite the strong innings from Sharma, who scored the highest score by a visiting batsman against Australia in Australia.
Smith said the Australian bowling attack, which included rookies Joel Paris (0-52) and Scott Boland (0-74), did well to restrict India to 309 when ''they probably looked like they were going to get 350 at one stage.''
Dhoni praised the Indian batsmen, but said the slower bowlers didn't apply enough pressure on the Australians, saying ''310 on any wicket is a very good score.''
''I felt in the middle overs when the spinners were bowling, they gave away too many runs,'' Dhoni said. ''We should have bowled slightly tighter than we did.''
The second game in the five-match series will be played at the Gabba in Brisbane on Friday.