india australia one day

MS Dhoni of India bats during game one of the One Day International series between India and Australia at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on March 2, 2019 in Hyderabad, India. (Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

HYDERABAD, India — Kedar Jadhav and Mahendra Singh Dhoni scored patient half-centuries and stayed at the crease to help India beat Australia by six wickets in their first one-day international Mar. 2.

Australia won the toss and decided to bat at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium as the teams began to mark the home stretch for the 50-over World Cup later this year.

But the decision didn’t pay off as India finished on 240-4 in 48.2 overs in reply to Australia’s 236-7.

Jadhav scored 81 not out off 87 balls, including nine fours and a six, while Dhoni made 59 not out off 72 deliveries. The pair put on 141 runs for the unbeaten fifth wicket after coming together on 99-4 in the 24th over.

“I would have tried to play my shots early but Dhoni asked me to bat till the end,” Jadhav said. “Dhoni and Virat Kohli are the best chasers in the game, so I am just trying to learn from them.”

India made a bad start to its run chase, losing Shikhar Dhawan for a first-ball duck in the second over, caught at point off Nathan Coulter-Nile (2-46).

Rohit Sharma (37) and Kohli (44) put on a second-wicket partnership worth 76 runs.

Adam Zampa (2-49) bowled beautifully in the middle overs as Australia made Sharma and Kohli work hard for their runs. The leg spinner provided two crucial breakthroughs, first trapping Kohli lbw via DRS in the 17th over and then having Ambati Rayudu (13) caught behind four overs later.

India was reduced to 95-3 as Sharma skied a catch off Coulter-Nile in the 21st over as well.

Jadhav reached his fifth ODI half-century off 67 balls, while Dhoni scored his 71st ODI half-century off 68. Their milestones came late in the day, with neither looking troubled, as India eased past the finish line with 10 balls to spare.

“We did a good job with the ball. The wicket didn’t offer as much (to our bowlers) as it did under the lights, which was surprising,” Kohli said. “Dhoni has experience and Jadhav has flair, their partnership was outstanding ... It was more or less a complete performance.”

Earlier, Australia skipper Aaron Finch, playing his 100th ODI for Australia, was caught behind off Jasprit Bumrah (2-60) for a three-ball duck.

Usman Khawaja (50) and Marcus Stoinis (37) put on 87 runs for the second wicket.

Glenn Maxwell (40) looked in good touch as he hit five fours but was bowled when Mohammed Shami (2-44) returned for a second spell.

Kuldeep Yadav returned 2-46 in his 10 overs.

“I think we were 20 or 30 runs short,” Finch said. “I thought our bowlers did an outstanding job, but India were too good.”

The second ODI is in Nagpur on Mar. 5.

Australia won the preceding Twenty20 series 2-0.

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