Action replay at the SCG as Australia win the ODI series

By Kersi Meher-Homji

Call them “action replay” or “mirror image” matches. There were marked similarities between the two ODIs played at the Sydney Cricket Ground last Friday and Sunday.

Australia won the toss in both the matches and batted first, winning by 66 runs in the first match and by 51 runs in the second. In both these games, Australia’s Steve Smith scored centuries and was made Man of the Match. In both the run-a-thons, Australian openers David Warner and skipper Aaron Finch were involved in century partnerships, 156 runs on Friday and 142 yesterday.

Six-o-maniac Glenn Maxwell hit sixes galore with a Strike Rate of 236 in the first match and of 217 in the second yesterday.

All four innings produced totals of over 300 runs without reaching 400.

Now to the second ODI at the SCG last night. Australian batsmen sizzled as Indian bowlers and fielders fizzled amassing 4 for 389 at 7.8 runs an over. The chief scorers were Warner 83, Finch 60, Smith 104, Marnus Labuschagne 70 and Maxwell 63 not out. None of the Aussie batsmen was dismissed for a score under 60, a rare occurrence in an international match.

They were helped by India’s poor fielding, quite a few catches being dropped.

Australia on the other hand fielded brilliantly taking acrobatic catches as India could manage 9 for 338 in the allotted 50 overs. The only Indian batsmen to shine out were skipper Virat Kohli who hit a stylish 89 and KL Rahul 76.

The only problem faced by Australia is the injury suffered by Warner when he pulled up sharply with an apparent groin injury that has the potential of his missing the third and final ODI at Canberra on Wednesday.

A depressed Kohli said at the end of the match, “Completely outplayed. I think with the ball we were not that effective. Didn’t hit the areas we wanted to consistently. They’ve got a strong batting lineup and know the angles. Their total was a bit too steep, if you see we got 338 and still lost by 51 runs. With the areas they bowled, they were in a position to create chances and with those chances taken, they were on top. I think he [Hardik Pandya] gave away a bit of a bowling plan on this pitch, a lot of them bowled cutters. His bowling was out of nowhere I just asked him. KL Rahul and I thought even 100 in the last ten overs with Hardik to come was achievable. If KL and I had stuck around till the 40th over, we could have put them under pressure. The wicket was beautiful to bat on.”


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