Australia’s bowler Marcus Stoinis (C) celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of India’s Rohit Sharma during the first ODI match at Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday. Photo: Collected

Australia fended off an explosive century from Rohit Sharma to post a morale-boosting 34-run victory over India in the first one-day international in Sydney on Saturday, reports AFP. The Australians made 288 for five off their 50 overs after winning
the toss and restricted India to 254 for nine.
Sharma blasted 133 off 129 balls in a brave effort to keep India in the contest, while Jhye Richardson took four for 26 for Australia.
Peter Handscomb top scored with 73 off 61 balls for Australia with Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh also registering half-centuries. Marsh knocked up 54 off 70 balls while Khawaja made 59 from 81. India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar finished with two for 66 and wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav claimed two for 54.
India lurched to a disastrous start, losing three wickets in the first six overs, from which they failed to recover. Shikhar Dhawan was out on the sixth ball of the innings when he was leg before wicket for a first-ball duck to ODI debutant Jason Behrendorff. It got worse for India when skipper Virat Kohli was caught at square leg off Richardson for three and two balls later Ambati Rayudu was trapped leg before wicket by Richardson after a review for a two-ball duck, leaving India rocking at four for three.
M.S. Dhoni put on 137 runs with Sharma for the fourth wicket to stabilise India’s rocky start before he was out leg before wicket to Behrendorff for 51. Sharma kept India in the contest with some prodigious hitting, blasting six sixes and 10 fours. But his mighty knock came to an end when he skied Marcus Stoinis to Glenn Maxwell at deep mid-wicket to end India’s remaining hopes. The second match in the three-match series takes place in Adelaide on Tuesday.