Unsung Sehwag helps India down Australia in first one-dayer
BANGALORE, India, March 25 (AFP) - Virender Sehwag stunned world champions Australia with bat and ball to lead India to a 60-run victory in the first one-day international here on Sunday.
The 22-year-old from Delhi, playing only his fourth international, hit 58 off 54 balls and then grabbed three wickets to end Australia's 10-match winning streak and give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
India, who came from behind to win the Test series last week, piled up their highest one-day total against Australia of 315 and then shot the tourists out for 255 under lights at the Chinnaswamy stadium.
Rahul Dravid hit 80 off 84 balls to anchor India's innings after captain Sourav Ganguly won the toss and elected to take first strike.
The Indians were all out off the penultimate ball after surpassing their previous best of 309-5 against the Australians at Cochin in 1998.
Matthew Hayden, a last-minute addition to Australia's one-day squad after ammassing 549 runs in the Test series, continued his superb form by making 99 off 89 balls.
The left-hander, who hit seven fours and a six, missed his maiden one-day century when he was trapped leg-before by Sehwag in the 28th over.
Hayden and Michael Bevan put on 109 for the third wicket to lift Australia to 153-2 before India hit back with three wickets for just 26 runs.
Ganguly began the rout in his first over when Bevan tapped an easy catch to mid-wicket after making 49.
Sehwag removed Hayden and Damien Martyn in successive overs to make it 179-5 and then claimed skipper Steve Waugh leg-before for 19 in the 36th over.
Waugh was unfortunate to be given out as television replays showed the ball take an edge from the bat before hitting the front pad.
Seamer Javagal Srinath, returning to the Indian team after missing the last two Tests due to a broken finger, finished with three for 49.
"We had a good score on the board but I was a little scared because the wicket was a beauty and we had some trouble gripping the ball due to the dew," Ganguly said.
"But we took wickets at regular intervals which helped us to win. It was great work by the boys."
Waugh conceded his team's performance had been disappointing.
"We fielded okay, but the batting and bowling were a bit loose," he said. "We have to tighten up in the next game if we are to win."
Dravid put on 100 off 97 balls for the fifth wicket with Sehwag and 61 off 39 for the sixth with wicket-keeper Vijay Dahiya, who made 51.
Dravid, who came in at 52-2 in the 10th over, batted until the 44th before being caught in the deep off Damien Martyn.
India rattled up 102-3 by the 15th over after a flurry of boundaries from Sachin Tendulkar and Venkatsai Laxman.
Tendulkar brushed aside the loss of Ganguly in the sixth over to hammer a quickfire 35, including a six and three fours in one Glenn McGrath over.
Laxman, who made 503 runs during India's 2-1 win in the Test series, once again feasted on the Aussie attack to hit seven boundaries and a six in his 45 off 34 balls.