ODI: Australia beat India in front of 20,000 at SCG


Australia beat India by 66 runs in the first one-day international in front of 20,000 socially-distanced fans at an emotional Sydney Cricket Ground.

There were tributes to former Australia batsmen Dean Jones, who died in September, and Phillip Hughes, on the sixth anniversary of his death. Both sides stood in a ‘barefoot circle’ as a stand against racism pre-match.

Centuries from Aaron Finch and Steve Smith helped the hosts to 374-6, with India reaching 308-8 in reply.

Victory in the first game of their men’s international summer gives Australia a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series.

The second ODI also takes places at the SCG on Sunday, with the third at Canberra on Wednesday. The two sides then play three Twenty20 internationals and four Tests.

In the pre-match ceremony, both sets of players stood barefoot together to demonstrate opposition to racism while also acknowledging indigenous Australians.

The practice was introduced by the Australian women’s team this year after it was suggested by Ashleigh Gardner, who is one of just three aboriginal Australians to play Test cricket.

There was then a minute’s silence in memory of Jones, who died after a heart attack aged 59, before highlights of his career played on screens around the ground. Both sides wore black armbands.

After the match started, played was paused at 4:08pm local time – to mark Hughes’ Australian Test number of 408 – for a round of applause to remember the former opener, who died after being hit on the neck while playing for South Australia in a first-class match in Sydney.

Australia openers David Warner (69) and Finch (114) put on 156 for the first wicket, with captain Finch bringing up his 17th ODI century.

Smith smashed 105 off 66 balls, sharing a stand of 108 with Finch, laying a superb platform for Glenn Maxwell to add 45 off just 19 balls as the hosts set an imposing total.

Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood claimed 3-55, including India captain Virat Kohli for 21, as the tourists fell to 101-4 in reply.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan made 74 and all-rounder Hardik Pandya hit 90 to keep their side in contention until both were removed by leg-spinner Adam Zampa (4-54) and India fell way behind the required rate. (BBC Sport)

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