India break Mohali curse, beat Australia as Surya and Rahul shine

Saturday, 23 September 2023 (15:40 IST)
BD Naraayannkar

Late half centuries by Suryakumar Yadav and Captain KL Rahul saw India break the Mohali curse by defeating Australia by five wickets in the first of the three-match ODI series at IS Bindra Stadium here on Friday.This was the first win India registered against Australia at Mohali after 1996.

After India lost three wickets in quick succession, the duo stitched a match-winning 80 runs for the fifth wicket.

Suryakumar and Rahul steadied the ship. The former was in his unusual mode at the initial stages of his innings as he showed great character in checking his aggressive instincts and playing copy-book shots to get India closer to victory.

Suryakumar couldn't close out the job after he was holed out by Mitchell Marsh off Sean Abbot for 50 off 49 balls with 5 boundaries and a six.

Rahul, however, played a captain's knock, and notched up an unbeaten 58 runs off 63 balls with 4 boundaries and a six. He scored the winning runs with 8 balls to spare.

Australian wrist-spinner Adam Zampa shook India for a brief period by sending back Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shubman Gill in the span of four overs.

Shreyas Iyer, who had returned to the Indian side after recovering from back spasm, was unfortunately run out for 3.

Rahul won the toss, and sent Australia into bat, who were bundled out for 276 runs, thanks to Mohammad Shami's five-fer fury in the first innings.

In reply, India started the run chase with great aplomb with openers Gaikwad and Gill sewing up 142 runs for the first wicket as the duo cracked fifties.

Gill was as elegant as ever, plundering runs in the powerplay with some exquisite shots. He was ably backed by Gaikwad, who spent some time in the middle before unleashing some beautiful strokes.

After Gill and Gaikwad were out for 74 and 71, respectively, Zampa rattled India with quick wickets.

Ishan Kishan soon walked back to the pavilion, scoring 18 trying to upper cut Pat Cummins and was caught behind by Josh Inglis.

Earlier, Australia had a poor start. They lost opener Mitchell Marsh (4) in the very first over off Shami as he nicked one to Shubman Gill in slips.The mercurial David Warner, and a determined Steve Smith stitched a 94 runs partnership for the second wicket.

The left-hander was very lucky to have been dropped by Shreyas Iyer, and notched up a very crucial 52 off 53 balls with 6 boundaries and 2 sixes. He tried to take Indian spinners to the cleaners, but was holed out to Gill at long-on off Ravindra Jadeja.

Smith also began well, but was cleaned up by Shami's nipper for 41 off 60 balls with 3 boundaries and a six.

Marnus Labuschagne was unlucky to be out stumped off Ravichandran Ashwin's delivery that deflected off wicket-keeper KL Rahul's pads on to the stumps after making 39 off 49 balls with 3 boundaries.

All the Aussie top-order got started, but couldn't build on it as India kept fighting back.
Josh Inglis made a crucial 45 before falling to Jasprit Bumrah's slower ball. Then Shami returned with fire power. He scalped three wickets at the death to end with figures of 5/51.

Cameron Green (31 off 52 balls), Marcus Stoinis (29 off 21 balls with 5 boundaries), and Pat Cummins' unbeaten 21 off 9 balls with 2 boundaries and a six, helped Australia to reach 270 runs mark.Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja picked up a wicket each.(UNI)

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