Published: Mon, September 18, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Pandya, Dhoni rescue India

Pandya, Dhoni rescue India

Opting to bat, India made a competitive 281 for seven against Australia in the first One- day worldwide of the five-match series here today.

Pandya's and Dhoni's heroics along with some plucky hitting from Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the death meant that India finished their innings at 281-7, setting Steve Smith's men a stiff chase on pitch not that easy to bat on. They lifted the innings from 87 for 5 to 205 for 6.

It has, however, been the 50-over format that has seen some of Australia's worst cricket in recent times, especially away from home where they have lost their last eight fully completed matches, last managing a win against Ireland in September of 2016, hardly a banner result. All those things are to get that aspect of mind games which I think creates an excitement for the fans watching as well. "And this wicket 270-80 is a winning total". "Opening allows him not only to take charge of himself but also control the pace of India's innings from the onset since he knows the target", Jayaraj said. Pandya tried to play against he spin, trying to slog him but managed only a top edge.

"I'm not really concerned", Smith said.

It was a cruel loss given the match was only minutes from being abandoned when play resumed. Champions Trophy final might have been a bad day, but it was a timely reminder that India must focus on this format.

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"A soon as he got his length back a little bit and made him go across the ball he got him out".

At the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, which cheered out loud for its "Super King" and 'thala', Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Pandya stole the show, with a classy knock of 83 off just 66 deliveries.

Australia slumped to 4-35 in the eighth over when David Warner nicked Kaldeep Yadav through to MS Dhoni.

Glenn Maxwell muscled four sixes in an 18-ball 39 and James Faulkner made 32 not out but Smith's side could only muster 137-9 to fall 1-0 down in the five-match series, which continues on Kolkata on Thursday.

4 - Number of times Pandya has hit three consecutive sixes in worldwide cricket this year.

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Earlier, India were off to a forgettable start with three of the top four batsmen back in the hut with only 11 runs on the board.

Pandya then picked up the wickets of Steve Smith (1) and Travis Head (5) as Australia crumbled in their pursuit of a revised 164 from 21 overs following a three-hour rain delay.

Persistent drizzle abated minutes before the match was due to be abandoned, giving Australia the chance to make a quick dash for victory. It was flying but Glenn Maxwell at backward point jumped to perfection to pull-off a stunning one-handed catch.

# India have won the toss and have opted to bat first.

Coming lower down the order, Pandya anchored the Indian ship - which was wrecked by a certain Nathan Coulter-Nile - along with Dhoni to add a 118-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

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