Sport Cricket Australia falls short of Indian target in rain-delayed first ODI
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Australia falls short of Indian target in rain-delayed first ODI

Australia India David Warner
David Warner made just 25 as Australia lost its rain-shortened ODI opener to India. Photo: AP
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Australia fell short in their pursuit of a revised target, losing the rain-affected first one-day international against India by 26 runs in Chennai.

Chasing 164 off 21 overs after a lengthy rain delay on Sunday, the visitors slumped to 4-35 in the eighth over when David Warner nicked Kaldeep Yadav through to MS Dhoni.

Glenn Maxwell tried to launch a rearguard action, but his 39 off 18 balls wasn’t enough to save his side from going one-nil down in the five-match series.

With the required run rate in excess of 10 with 11 overs remaining, the hard hitting allrounder kicked into gear by plundering 22 off a Kuldeep Yadav over including three consecutive sixes.

But Maxwell was caught in the deep off Yuzvendra Chahal (3-30) looking to clear the boundary for a sixth time before Marcus Stoinis (three) departed three balls later.

From 6-76 the mountain was too steep to climb and Australia finished 27 runs short at 9-137.

It was a cruel loss given the match was only minutes from being abandoned when play resumed.

Rain started falling shortly after India fought back to post 7-281 off their 50 overs after the Australian bowlers dominated early.

Injury-plagued paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile (3-44) made a dream start to his first international match since June last year with a sensational opening spell.

australia india Nathan Coulter-Nile
Nathan Coulter-Nile claimed three wickets for 13 balls. Photo: AP

The 29-year-old picked up three wickets in 13 balls including the prized scalp of India captain Virat Kohli who was out for a duck to a sensational one-handed catch from Maxwell.

Kohli may have been regretting his decision to bat under overcast skies as Coulter-Nile made the most of conditions to shape the ball away from the right-handed batsmen.

But with India reeling at 5-87 after Stoinis chimed in with two wickets, Dhoni (79 off 88) steadied the ship in trademark fashion.

He combined with Hardik Pandya for a vital 118-run partnership.

While Dhoni rotated the strike, Pandya’s power hitting came to the fore as he hit three consecutive sixes off legspinner Adam Zampa (1-66).

Pandya looked to be on his way to a century, but he top-edged an attempted slog sweep to third man off Zampa to top score with 83 off 66 balls, including five sixes and five fours.

Later, Pandya took the crucial wickets of Steve Smith and Travis Head to finish with 2-28 in a man-of-the-match performance.

– AAP