India vs Australia, 1st T20 International: Australia scored an early victory in the first T-20 match with a three-wicket win over India in the first match of the last ball, taking 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Australia made a clutch 3-wicket win over India in the first T-20 match in the last ball, taking 1-0 lead in the series. India got 76 runs in the first nine overs before opener KL Rahul (50 runs off 36 balls) got the invitation for batting first. However, despite the presence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni (29 not out on 37 balls), India were only restricted to 126 for seven wickets.

In response, Australia’s Glenn Maxwell (56 off 43 balls) and Darcy Short (37 off 37 balls) made a 84-run partnership for the third wicket. At this point, it was seeming as though Australia will cruise to an easy win, but, India did a great comeback. All credits to an excellent bowling display by Jaspreet Bumrah (3/16). Australia needed to make 14 runs in the last six balls. Umesh Yadav was given the responsibility of last over. Australia’s tail end Jhye Richardson (seven not out) and Pat Cummins (unbeaten seven) took the victory from the jaws of defeat.

Cummins sent the fifth ball for four runs and took two runs from the last ball to get Australia to a score of 127 for seven wickets. Due to Shikhar Dhawan’s rest, Rahul, who made the place in the final eleven, put six fours and one six in his innings. He added 55 runs for the second wicket with captain Virat Kohli (24 runs from 17 balls). When these two were playing, it seemed that India would be able to put up a strong score. The middle order collapse proved to be the problem yet again for team India.

Dhoni stepped into the crease at the start of the 11th over and stayed till the end. But, only one six came out of his bat which was in the 20th over. He scored 29 runs but took 37 balls for this. The strike rate of Dhoni was 78.37 further enforcing critics who questioned his slow batting. Nathan Coulter-Nile was Australia’s most successful bowler. He took 3 for 26 runs in four overs. Jason Behrendorff (one by 16 runs), Cummins (one for 19 runs) and Adam Zampa (one for 22 runs) gave their best support.

Maxwell completed the sixth half-century for just 40 balls, but soon after, he gave a catch at long off on the turning ball of Chahal. He hit six fours and two sixes in his innings. From here the fate of the match completely reversed. The match suddenly became exciting because of D’Arcy Short and Aston Turner’s exit. Markandeya bowled well under pressure and conceded only five runs in the 18th over. Australia needed 16 runs in two overs. Bumrah conceded just two runs in the 19th over and Peter Hendscomb (13 off 15 balls) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (4) also got out.

Earlier, India did not start well and in the third over, Rohit Sharma (five runs in eight balls) lost the wicket, with an easy catch at short fine leg in an effort to scoop off a
Behrendorff’s ball. Kohli could not capitalize on a good early start, flicking on Zampa ball, he was caught on long on, while Rishabh Pant (three runs in five balls) got out in a very textbook manner.

Rahul exited the Indian fans with his performance. Rahul completed the fifth half-century of his T20 international career with 35 balls, but soon after that, gave an easy catch to midfield in an attempt to play the ball towards the boundary. Nathan Coulter Nile completely bamboozled Dinesh Karthik (one run on three balls) in the same over and sent India back on backfoot. Kunal Pandya (one run in six balls) and Umesh (two runs in four balls) were the next batsmen, while Dhoni looked to be struggling to score runs often signaling no to a clear run.