Australia managed to draw first blood against India in the ODI series after they won the first match by 34 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday. After winning just two out of their 13 games last year, Australia has started 2019 with quite a good win. The win takes them 1-0 ahead in the three-match ODI series. Contributions from the middle-order batters and spirited bowling performance scripted a rather much-needed win for the hosts.

Handscomb top scores as Marsh and Khawaja chip in

Australia won the toss, and captain Aaron Finch elected to bat first.

Finch (6 runs) opened with Alex Carey but was sent packing early by Bhuvaneswar Kumar. Carey (24 runs) was also dismissed in the powerplay by Kuldeep Yadav as Australian were scoring at a rate touch above four. Usman Khawaja (59 runs) and Shaun Marsh (54 runs) got together and slowly started building a partnership.

The 92-run partnership between the duo had put the hosts in a position from where a big total was on the cards. Another 50-plus partnership between Peter Handscomb (73 runs) and Marsh had now put set the innings beautifully, but the run rate was a still a pretty low. Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis (47 runs), later Glenn Maxwell (11 runs), got together and added 93 runs in the last ten overs of the innings to push the Australian total to 288 for five from 50 overs.

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Kumar and Yadav managed to get two wickets each with the latter being a little bit more economical. Ravindra Jadeja got a wicket as well. Mohammad Shami only gave away 46 runs in his ten overs but didn't get a single wicket, while Khaleel Ahmed was rather expensive as he gave away 55 runs in his eight overs.

Richardson's efforts downs Rohit's heroics

India's chase started in the most horrid fashion as they lost the wickets of Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, and Ambati Rayudu for just four runs on the board. Rohit Sharma tried accelerating after a very slow start while MS Dhoni on the other end was also taking time to get going. Both the batsmen didn't seem like getting out, but the required run rate kept on increasing from time to time.

Rohit brought up his fifty, and another big hundred appeared on the cards for the Indian vice-captain. Dhoni scored too reached his fifty, but Jason Behrendorff got rid of him for 51. The 137-run stand between Sharma and Dhoni had steadied the ship, but it was a long way to go from there. Dinesh Karthik's (12 runs) short innings didn't help either as the asking run rate got the better off him. Jadeja (8 runs) managed to stick around for a while, and Sharma brought up his 22nd ODI ton by then. Both the batsmen got out in quick succession and it seemed like Rohit's knock of 133 will not save India from the defeat. A quick-fire 29 from Bhuvaneswar took India's score to 254 for 9, and they fell short by 34 runs.

For Australia, Jhye Richardson bowled brilliantly finish with figures of 4-26 from his ten overs. He eventually got the man of the match award as well. Stoinis and Behrendorff got two wickets each while Siddle managed one scalp in his comeback match.

India has a few things to reflect upon before they reach Adelaide for the next game. The second ODI between the sides will be played at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday, January 15, 2019.