Visakhapatnam: Australia pulled off a stunning three-wicket victory against India in the first T20I at Visakhapatnam on Sunday that saw them take a 1-0 lead in the two match series.
Jasprit Bumrah was the pick of the bowlers for the Men in Blue but Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson held their nerves to see Australia through.
Chasing a target of 127, the visitors started off the chase in disastrous fashion losing Marcus Stoinis and skipper Aaron Finch inside the first two overs. Glenn Maxwell and D’Arcy Short then stitched a mammoth 84-run revive the visitors after the early blow.
Australia seemed to be very much in control but the run-out of opener Short turned the tables around in India’s favour. Some tight bowling in the middle overs saw them crumble under pressure – losing four wickets for 12 runs – as the required run rate kept climbing up.
Jasprit Bumrah almost steered the hosts to victory after a fabulous penultimate over that included the dismissals of Peter Handscomb and Nathan Coulter-Nile. However, tailenders Cummins and Richardson somehow snatched a victory right under the jaws of defeat – scoring 13 runs off Umesh Yadav in the final over.
Australia 127-7 after 20 overs:
ALL OVER! Australia have snatched a thrilling win right under India's noses to emerge triumphant by 3 wickets. The visitors take a 1-0 in the two-match T20I series.
Was a fabulous game. Didn't think India would take 126 that far. Major issues though with the lower order batting— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 24, 2019
Australia 113-7 after 19 overs:
BOWLED! Jasprit Bumrah on a hat-trick. Coulter-Nile is cleaned up by an inswinging yorker and India very much in control now.
CAUGHT! Slower bouncer by Bumrah, Handscomb swipes across but can only manage to get a top edge which is collected by MS Dhoni in the end.
Australia 106-5 after 17 overs:
WICKET and India need more of them. Ashton Turner misreads Krunal Pandya, attempting to sweep him fine before the ball crashes into stumps.
Australia 101-4 after 16 overs:
WICKET! Key moment in the game as D'Arcy Short is run out. There is major miscommunication with Peter Handscomb after a comfortable single and confusion results in another wicket.
Australia 90-3 after 14 overs:
CAUGHT! Yuzvendra Chahal breaks the crucial partnership. Makes Glenn Maxwell play at a wide delivery and reach out for it. The batsman slices it from the toe end of the bat and finds KL Rahul at long off.
Australia 51-2 after 8 overs:
FIFTY! Australia have recovered well in the powerplay following two early dismissals. Can the Men in Blue find a way back in this contest?
Australia 22-2 after 4 overs:
EXPENSIVE OVER! Maxwell whips Umesh Yadav for three boundaries in the fourth over which should help the Aussies breathe easy for now.
Australia 9-2 after 3 overs:
LBW! Bumrah strikes on his return. An incoming delivery catches Aaron Finch right in front of the stumps and the Australia skipper has to depart.
For a top batsman, it is amazing how often Aaron Finch has got out to the same ball— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 24, 2019
Australia start run chase nervously as if unbelieving they have such a paltry score to chase. And Finch clearly looks a ‘bunny’ for this Indian team— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) February 24, 2019
Australia 5-1 after 2 overs:
RUN OUT! Just the start India needed. Flat ball, straying down leg. Marcus Stoinis wants a run but is sent back by D'Arcy Short. Too late.
Nathan Coulter-Nile produced a fine bowling effort as Australia restricted India to 140-8 after winning the toss and electing to bowl first.
Jason Behrendorff delivered an early breakthrough for the visitors in the form of Rohit Sharma but KL Rahul and Virat Kohli steadied off the ship with some swashbuckling strokes in the power play.
But the script took a major turn after Adam Zampa brought about the downfall of Kohli. The Men in Blue lost five wickets for just 40 runs in the middle overs, with Nathan Coulter-Nile doing majority of the damage.
MS Dhoni played a timid cameo but not enough support for the veteran meant that the hosts finished with a score well below-par.
India 126-7 after 20 overs:
END OF INNINGS! India finish off with 126-7 on board and Australia will be the happy side, given the way they have contained the hosts despite being 80-3 at one stage.
MSD’s timing and rhythm elusive, and should have shown some trust in tailend partner and rotate strike to get few runs in slog overs. Barring Rahul, not much from the top order and India have a below par total to defend— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) February 24, 2019
India 109-7 after 17 overs:
LBW! Full length delivery by Cummins, angling into Umesh Yadav. The batsman tries to shuffle across but is struck plumb in front of the wickets. India are crumbling apart.
India 100-6 after 15 overs:
CAUGHT! Krunal Pandya tries to play Coulter-Nile across the line but swipes too early. Skies a top edge which is safely collected by Glenn Maxwell in the end.
Rahul and Kohli had set up good platform for 170+ score, but it’s coming apart with some thoughtless adventurism— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) February 24, 2019
India 94-5 after 13 overs:
BOWLED! Coulter-Nile claims his second wicket. Back of a length delivery, aimed straight at the stumps goes through the gates of Dinesh Karthik.
WICKET! Shortly after bringing up his fifty, KL Rahul falls. Makes room outside off, plays it over mid-off only to find Finch in the deep after making contact with the bottom end of the bat.
India 91-3 after 12 overs:
FIFTY! KL Rahul makes a comeback in style, scoring a stylish half-century coming off just 35 balls.
India 80-3 after 10 overs:
RUN OUT! Jason Behrendorff makes a outstanding fielding effort at point and Rishabh Pant fails to return back to his crease, looking out for a quick single.
India 76-2 after 9 overs:
WICKET! Virat Kohli dances down the track against Zampa, takes the aeriel route but can't get enough power. Coulter-Nile takes a flat catch in the deep
India 59-1 after 7 overs:
FIFTY UP! Virat Kohli and KL Rahul show no signs of stopping despite the early departure of Rohit Sharma.
India 26-1 after 4 overs:
CAUGHT! Length ball and Rohit Sharma tries to paddle it through the toe end of the bat. Adam Zampa takes an easy one at fine leg.
India 12-0 after 2 overs:
KL Rahul back in the groove as he hits Jhye Richardson for two boundaries in his opening over.
The next 3 weeks perhaps the most important in @klrahul11’s cricket career— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) February 24, 2019
Despite a memorable tour of Australia where India bagged their first ever Test and ODI series Down Under, Virat Kohli and co aim to extend their dominance against their bitter rivals when both teams square off in the first T20 series at the ACA-VCDA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
The Men in Blue are coming into this contest having suffered a 2-1 T20I series defeat to New Zealand. The onus here will be to fine tune their set up with a couple of slots yet to be finalised for the forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Although the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed and Kuldeep Yadav have been rested with Hardik Pandya missing out through injury, the return of captain Virat Kohli will come as a huge boost for the hosts as KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah also make their return.
The Australian players, meanwhile, are also returning from the Big Bash League (BBL) and will be looking to carry on their exploits.
Mayank Markande makes his international debut and KL Rahul makes a comeback after a tough few months. Meanwhile, Peter Handscomb is handed his maiden T20 debut in Visakhapatnam.
India: R Sharma, L Rahul, V Kohli, R Pant, MS Dhoni, D Karthik, K Pandya, U Yadav, Y Chahal, M Markande, J Bumrah #INDvAUS— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 24, 2019
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (v-c), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Krunal Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Sidharth Kaul, Mayank Markande.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), D'Arcy Short, Pat Cummins, Alex Carey, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa.
Match starts: 7pm IST....