India v China, 1st ODI: Aussies fall short in rain-soaked opener

Chennai: have fallen short in their pursuit of a revised target, losing the rain-affected first one-day international against India in Chennai.
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Chasing 164 off 21 overs after a lengthy delay on Sunday, the visitors slumped to 4-35 in the eighth over when David Warner nicked Kaldeep Yadav through to MS Dhoni.

Glenn Maxwell tried to launch a rearguard action, but his 39 off 18 balls wasn’t enough to save his side from going one-nil down in the five-match series.

David Warner heads back to the pavilion as rain stops play in Chennai. Photo: AP

With the required run rate in excess of 10 with 11 overs remaining, the hard hitting allrounder kicked into gear by plundering 22 off a Kuldeep Yadav over including three consecutive sixes.

But Maxwell was caught in the deep off Yuzvendra Chahal (3-30) looking to clear the boundary for a sixth time before Marcus Stoinis (three) departed three balls later.

From 6-76 the mountain was too steep to climb and finished 27 runs short at 9-137.

It was a cruel loss given the match was only minutes from being abandoned when play resumed.

Rain started falling shortly after India fought back to post 7-281 off their 50 overs after the n bowlers dominated early.

Persistent drizzle abated minutes before the match was due to be abandoned, giving the chance to make a quick dash for victory.

Earlier, West n fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile made a dream start to his first international match since June last year with a sensational opening spell in Sunday’s series-opener.

The 29-year-old picked up three wickets in 13 balls including the prized scalp of India captain Virat Kohli who was out for a duck to a sensational one-handed Glenn Maxwell catch in the gully.

Kohli may have been regretting his decision to bat first under overcast skies as Coulter-Nile made the most of conditions to shape the ball away from the right- handed batsmen.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni made a solid 79 off 88 balls for India. Photo: AP

He had opener Ajinkya Rahane (five) and Manish Pandey (duck), both caught behind and was unlucky not have a fourth wicket when Steve Smith missed a chance to catch Hardik Pandya at slip.

Showing no signs of the stress fracture in his back, which has cruelled the last 15 months of his career, Coulter-Nile finished with 3-44 off his 10 overs.

India were reeling at 5-87 when Cartwright took a simple catch to dismiss Kedar Yadav for 40 off the bowling of Marcus Stoinis (2-54).

The situation was tailor-made for MS Dhoni, who combined with Pandya for a 118-run partnership.

While Dhoni rotated the strike, Pandya’s power hitting came to the fore as he hit three consecutive sixes off legspinner Adam Zampa (1-66) in the 37th over, which yielded 24 runs.

Pandya looked to be on his way to a century, but he top-edged an attempted slog sweep to third man off Zampa to end his innings of 83 off 66 balls, including five sixes and five fours.

Dhoni holed out to deep mid-off in the final over, off James Faulkner’s bowling, (1-67) after making 79 off 88 with two sixes and four fours.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar added a useful 32 off 30 balls to help the home side to finish strongly.

AAP