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Starc’s early strikes in vain as India beat Australia

India have taken a 1-0 lead over Australia in the ODI series, winning by five wickets after overcoming an early blitzkrieg from Mitchell Starc in Mumbai.

India Australia Cricket Mitchell Starc gave Australia hope with early wickets before India eked out a win in the first ODI.
March 18, 2023
By Justin Chadwick
18 March 2023

India have overcome a scintillating spell from Mitchell Starc to post a five-wicket win over Australia in the series-opening ODI clash in Mumbai.

Australia were bowled out for a paltry 188 in 35.4 overs on Friday after suffering a collapse of 8-59.

Mitch Marsh top-scored with 81 off 65 balls, but the rest of the star-studded batting line-up failed to fire.

In reply, India were in all sorts of trouble at 4-39 and 5-83 after Starc (3-49) and Marcus Stoinis (2-27) tore through the top and middle order.

But a 108-run stand between KL Rahul (75no off 91 balls) and Ravindra Jadeja (45no off 69 balls) steered India to victory with 61 balls to spare.

The result gave India a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, with game two to be played in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

“We weren’t expecting this when we rocked up, they’re usually pretty big scores here,” Australia’s stand-in skipper Steve Smith said.

“I thought India bowled really well. We probably left a few out there.

“I think if we got up over 250 it could have been an interesting game.

“We were one partnership away from them beating us, and Jadeja and Rahul showed how to do it.”

It was chaos early in India’s innings as Starc weaved his magic.

Stoinis struck in the second over to remove Ishan Kishan lbw for three.

But it was Starc’s double strike in the fifth over that threatened to bring India to their knees.

The left-armer trapped champion batter Virat Kohli (four) lbw with a pearl of a delivery.

Next ball, Starc sent Suryakumar Yadav packing in the same manner, reducing the home side to 3-16.

Rahul negotiated the hat-trick ball with a beautiful cover drive for four, but Starc wasn’t done with yet.

Shubman Gill (20) was on two when he was dropped by wicketkeeper Josh Inglis off the bowling of Starc.

Starc eventually got his man, with Marnus Labuschagne taking a sharp catch.

By that stage, Starc had figures of 3-20.

When stand-in skipper Hardik Pandya (25) hooked Stoinis to Cameron Green in the deep, India were 5-83 and looking shaky. 

But from there Rahul and Jadeja took control of the match, with their steady partnership ensuring India cruised to victory.

Earlier, Marsh cracked 10 fours and five sixes to set an excellent platform for Australia after the visitors were sent in to bat.

But Marsh’s departure in the 20th over resulted in a stunning collapse of 8-59 as Australia slipped from 2-129 to be all out in 35.4 overs.

Josh Inglis (26), Steve Smith (22), Marnus Labuschagne (15) and Cameron Green (12) all made starts without looking entirely comfortable.

Glenn Maxwell, playing his first international match since breaking his left leg in November, was out for eight after his attempted slog went awry.

India paceman Mohammed Shami was the chief destroyer with 3-17 off six overs, while Mohammed Siraj snared 3-29.

Star allrounder Jadeja claimed 2-46 and also pulled off a sharp diving catch to remove Labuschagne.

Veteran Australia opener David Warner, who suffered a hairline fracture in his elbow during the Test series, was ruled out of the ODI opener but is expected to play in games two and three.

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