Super Smith leads Australia home

12 January 2016

Australia captain falls in final over after imperious 149 gives Australia a 1-0 series win

Victoria Bitter ODI Series v India, First ODI


The match in a tweet: Records tumble and DRS controversy reigns as Bailey and Smith respond to Rohit fireworks in thrilling run chase.

The turning point: India's reluctance to accept the Decision Review System in its current form cost them what would have been a match-changing wicket early in Australia's innings. 

The home side were in trouble at 2-21 in chasing 310 for victory when India's fielders appealed for a leg-side catch from George Bailey's first ball. A muted appeal from wicketkeeper MS Dhoni may have contributed to the not out decision from umpire Richard Kettleborough, but replays showed a clear deflection from Bailey's glove. 

WATCH: Bailey reopens DRS debate

But with the Board of Control for Cricket in India firm in their stance against the DRS in its current form, the tourists weren't able to challenge the decision and Bailey continued on finishing with 112 and sharing a 242-run stand with captain Steve Smith as Australia chased down the target with four balls to spare.

The heroes: The home side's former ODI skipper and their current captain combined magnificently for a record-breaking partnership that secured Australia one of their greatest-ever victories in one-day cricket. 

Bailey, who played just one match in Australia's successful World Cup campaign last year, was superb in notching his third ODI century having been given a huge slice of luck from his first ball (see above). 

WATCH: Bailey century sets up match for Australia

The 33-year-old has been one of the leading batsmen in domestic cricket this summer and his performance here - 112 from 120 balls - will do his hopes of a Test and T20 recall a world of good. 

He was brilliantly supported by Steve Smith, whose fifth ODI ton came from just 97 balls in front of a raucous crowd of almost 15,000 fans. The skipper finished with a career-best 149 from 135 balls, falling with just two runs needed for victory.

The numbers: It's hard to know which statistic is the most impressive from Australia's amazing win; it was the country's fourth-highest successful run chase in ODI cricket, their second-highest on home soil and the highest ever in Perth, while the 242-run stand between Bailey and Smith was the fourth-highest Australian partnership ever, the highest for the third wicket and the second-highest for any wicket at the WACA Ground.

WATCH: Steve Smith continues his domination of India bowlers

The consolation effort: It's not often you post an unbeaten 171 in a losing side, but that was Rohit Sharma's fate today. The opener hit 13 fours and seven sixes in a 163-ball innings, his ninth ODI century and his fourth against Australia. 

The right-hander now averages 68.46 from 18 innings against the Aussies, while his performance today boosted his average as an opener against all nations to 52.28. 

He also broke the 36-year-old record held by Viv Richards for the highest ODI score against Australia on their home turf, surpassing the West Indian legend's 153 scored in December 1979. 

WATCH: Rohit runs rampant against Aussie attack

It was Rohit's third ODI century in Australia inside 12 months having also posted 138 against the Aussies at the MCG last summer and 137 at the same venue against Bangladesh during the 2015 World Cup. They are impressive numbers and ones that make it hard to understand why he averages just 33 in Test cricket.

The debutants: Australian first-gamers Joel Paris and Scott Boland received their caps from 1987 World Cup winner Bruce Reid before play, but the thrill of making their international debuts quickly faded once Rohit and Kohli got into their work. 

Paris started brightly enough with a muted appeal from his very first ball, but the left-armer wasn't able to find much movement and was picked off by the Indian batsmen on a flat surface, finishing with 0-53 from eight overs. 

Boland started brilliantly, conceding just 12 runs from his initial four-over spell, but was no match for India's set batsmen late in the innings, conceding 62 from his final six overs. 

But in a match where 619 runs for scored for the loss of just eight wickets, the new boys won't be too disheartened with their first-up performance. And a memorable victory will make their first taste of international cricket a sweet one.

The support cast: It's amazing to think that Indian star Virat Kohli, who is rapidly building an ODI resume they could eventually rival that of the great Sachin Tendulkar, averaged just 15 from seven matches against Australia in Australia before today. 

WATCH: Virat Kohli falls short of WACA century

The 27-year-old put made a marked improvement on that record today, falling just nine runs short of what would have been his 24th ODI century. The right-hander struck nine fours and a six in his 97-ball innings, bringing up his 58th score of 50 or more in ODI cricket with a tremendous swivel pull off Boland that easily sailed over the fence at fine leg.

The send-off: A maiden international wicket evaded Australia's two debutants today, but Indian first-gamer Barinder Sran took just nine balls to grab his first at the top level. And what a spectacular way to do it, the left-armer taking a superb return catch to remove Aaron Finch for just 8. 

A promising boxer in his younger years, Sran landed another blow when he removed David Warner in his next over to have Australia on the ropes early in their run chase. And the debutant even had the confidence to give the Aussie opener a send-off!

WATCH: Sran lands early blows on Aussie openers

The stat: Smith's past ten scores against India across all formats are: 52no, 133, 28, 192, 14, 117, 71, 47, 105 and 149.

What it all means: Both teams will make the long trip to Brisbane for game two at the Gabba on Friday and the Australians would no doubt enjoy their flight across the country more than the tourists. 

The home side have called John Hastings into the squad in place of the rested Mitchell Marsh, meaning changes are afoot for the second match of the series with Kane Richardson and Shaun Marsh also in the frame. India will be buoyed by a near perfect performance with the bat, but their bowling obviously needs to improve.

WATCH: Bruce Reid presents Joel Paris and Scott Boland with their ODI caps