AUSTRALIA. Canberra: Indian cricket team beat Australia by 11 runs in the first T20 match on Friday. India now leads the series by 1-0 in the three-match series. The match was played in Manuka Oval stadium.
On the tricky track, Australia put India to bat by winning the toss. After coming to bat, India lost their star players, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli quickly. With 48 for 2 in 6.4 overs, Sanju Samson and K.L. Rahul brought some stability to India’s score. When Samson got out on 23 (15b, 1×6,1×4), India quickly lost the momentum by losing three quick wickets of Manish Pandey for 2, K.L. Rahul for well made 51(40b, 1×6,5×4), and Hardik Pandya for 15.
Due to this, the score changed from 86 for 3 to 114 for 6 very quickly. It was a tough situation for India but Ravindra Jadeja came to bat and took the matter into his own hands. His score of 44 (23b, 1×6,5×4) gave India a fighting total of 161 for 7. However, his inning was cut short by an injury. While he was trying to play a pull shot, the ball hit his helmet and forced him to go back to the pavilion. He was declared retired hurt that put him out of the match.
Chasing a target of 162, Australia began with a boom. The first wicket partnership of 56 between captain Aaron Finch and Darcy Short was a big boost for Australia’s batting.
The two drop catches by Manish Pandey and captain Virat Kohli, the two best Indian fielders, added some worries to the Indian side. But the turning point came when the concussion replacement of Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, came to bowl. Chahal removed Finch and Steve Smith in quick succession. Finch scored 35 runs (26b, 1×6,5×4) before being caught out by the brilliant catch of Pandya.
After a classic spell by Chahal, Left-handed medium-fast bowler, T. Natrajan removed in-form Glenn Maxwell. After Maxwell’s early departure, Australia’s score became 75 for 3. The spin duo of Chahal and Washington Sundar weaved the magic around the Australian batsmen. Sundar was highly economical as he gave just 16 runs in 4 overs. Australia managed only 150 for 7 in 20 overs. Chahal and Natrajan scalped 3 wickets each. Chahal got the player of the match.