India’s refusal to accept the Decision Review System came back to haunt them as George Bailey and Steve Smith posted match-winning centuries in Australia’s five-wicket win at the WACA Ground on Tuesday.
Chasing 310 for victory, Australia were in trouble at 2-21 in the fifth over after Aaron Finch (8) and David Warner (5) fell cheaply to debutant paceman Barinder Sran.
But a 242-run partnership between Bailey (112 off 120 balls) and Smith (149 off 135) helped lift Australia to 5-310 with four balls to spare in front of 14,992 fans.
The partnership was the fourth-highest stand by an Australian duo in ODI cricket.
Australia should have been 3-21 when Bailey – facing his first ball – gloved Sran’s leg-side delivery to the wicketkeeper.
But India’s appeals fell on deaf ears with Richard Kettleborough adjudging it not out.
And with India steadfastly refusing to allow the use of DRS in any games they’re involved in, it meant Bailey was off the hook.
Hot Spot replays showed a faint brush of Bailey’s gloves, while snicko registered a noise as the ball passed the gloves.
Bailey emphatically made the most of the reprieve to set up the series-opening win, crunching seven fours and two sixes in his match-winning knock.
Smith was even more brutal in posting his highest ODI score, eclipsing his previous best of 105.
But he was out in the last over when he chipped a catch to cover when just two more runs were needed for victory.
Sran finished with 3-56 in an impressive debut, and it would have been even better with the help of DRS.
Australia’s debutant pacemen didn’t fare so well.
Victorian Scott Boland was economical early.
But some full tosses at the death proved mightily costly, with the 26-year-old conceding 30 runs from his final two overs to finish with 0-74.
Paris showed promise but lacked the killer punch on the way to 0-53 off eight overs.
Josh Hazlewood led the bowling brilliantly in the absence of pace stars Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson.
After conceding 11 runs in a wobbly first over, the 25-year-old rebounded strongly to finish with 1-41 from his 10 overs.
Indian opener Rohit Sharma struck an unbeaten 171 from 163 balls to spearhead the visitors’ 3-309.
Sharma combined with Virat Kohli (91 off 97) for a 207-run stand.
The partnership was India’s highest-ever second-wicket stand against Australia, eclipsing the 199 set by Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman in Indore in 2001.
Sharma’s knock was also the highest score by a visiting batsman against Australia in Australia since Viv Richards’ 153 not out for the West Indies at the MCG in 1979.
Australia all-rounder Mitch Marsh, who will be rested from the second one-dayer in an attempt to nurse his body through the series, grabbed at his troublesome hamstrings a few times throughout India’s innings.
But he stayed out on the park to finish with 0-53 from his nine overs, before making an unbeaten 12 with the bat.