A “pilgrimage” to SCG for a memorable runathon

By Kersi Meher-Homji 

As I boarded a tram (light train) from Central station yesterday to witness the first One Day International between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, I wondered whether I was in Australia or in India.

All the passengers were in blue clothes as worn by the Indian cricketers and waving the Indian flag

As I waited in the queue to pick up my press accreditation pass at the SCG, I could hardly hear anyone as the Indian supporters beat their drums loudly singing “India jitega”.

And what a match as nearly 700 runs were smacked in 100 overs of exciting batting. Australia won the first ODI by 66 runs but India fought till the end thanks to a 128 run partnership between Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya.

In a way this was a historic match as spectators were allowed in a cricket contest in Australia for the first time since March due to COVID restrictions.

Australia won the toss and batted. And batted. And batted till they totaled 6 for 374 runs in 50 overs. Their openers David Warner (69 runs) and skipper Aaron Finch (114 with two sixes) put on 156 runs. The “runathon” continued when Steve Smith joined Finch. They added 108 runs for the second wicket and at one stage Australia was one for 264, Indian bowlers mercilessly murdered.

Man of the Match Smith smashed 105 with four sixes. Then came a cameo innings by the aggressive Glenn Maxwell, 45 runs off only 19 balls belting three sixes. The only Indian bowler to impress was fast bowler Mohammed Shami who took three of the six wickets to fall.

Earlier, the match was interrupted by two protesters carrying placards “NO $1BN ADANI LOANS” and “Stop Coal, Stop Adani. Take Action”. The security took prompt action and the game resumed.

India’s response to Australia’s massive total was disappointing as they lost their top four batsmen including skipper Virat Kohli for only 104 runs. Then Shikhar Dhawan (74 runs) and Hardik Pandya (90 with four sixes) added 128 courageous runs for the fifth wicket.

At 4 for 229, India looked like achieving the impossible by winning. They needed 145 more runs to win in 15.3 overs. But once Dhawan and Pandya fell to the leg-spinner Adam Zampa (4 for 54) they could total 8 for 308 and lost by 66 runs.

The second ODI starts tomorrow at 1.30 pm at the SCG. See you there, flags and drums in hand.

 

Short URL: https://indiandownunder.com.au/?p=15708

Posted by on Nov 28 2020. Filed under Community, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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