Sydney ODI: Rohit's century goes in vain as India lose opener

Australia defeated India by 34 runs to take a 1-0 lead in 3-match series

Australia India Cricket Rohit Sharma flips his bat after he was caught out against Australia during their one day international cricket match in Sydney on Saturday | AP

India conceded a 34-run defeat to Australia despite opener Rohit Sharma's gritty century in the first ODI in Sydney on Saturday. With the win, Australia took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. 

Young Jhye Richardson took four wickets for Australia, ensuring India did not stand a chance to win Saturday's game. India, chasing 288, were reduced to four for the loss of three wickets with Shikhar Dhawan and Ambati Rayudu returning to the pavilion for a duck and Virat Kohli scoring only 3. 

Soon, M.S. Dhoni came in to join Rohit, who was looking stable at the other end. The duo started building a partnership that steered India to 141/4 before Dhoni (51) fell for a controversial lbw appeal by Behrendorff. 

With Dhoni's return, India had almost exhausted its chances of a comeback in the game, though Bhuvneshwar Singh (29) impressed with some last-minute efforts before India's unsuccessful chase ended. Jason Behrendorff and Stoinis scalped two wickets each for Australia.

Earlier in the day, Peter Handscomb switched gears in time to score a fighting 73 as a collective batting effort from the middle-order steered Australia to a competitive 288 for five against India. Usman Khawaja (59) and Shaun Marsh (54) scored half-centuries for Australia who lost skipper Aaron Finch (6) in a slow start after electing to bat.

A late charge from Handscomb and Stoinis meant that the hosts scored 93 runs in the last 10 overs, 59 of them coming in the last five.

They added 68 runs off 59 balls for in their fifth-wicket partnership as Handscomb delighted the home fans with eight boundaries including two sixes while Stoinis hit two fours and as many shots over the ropes.

Spinners Kuldeep Yadav (2/54) and Ravindra Jadeja (1/48) shared three wickets between them while pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/66) accounted for two batsmen.

Sloppy fielding from India towards the end also helped Australia as Ambati Rayudu dropped Handscomb (on 67 off Kumar).

(With PTI inputs)