Glenn Maxwell scored a brilliant half century, as Australia defeated India by 3 wickets in the first T20 International to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
The home side made 3 changes by resting Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Vijay Shankar and included Lokesh Rahul, Umesh Yadav and debutant Mayank Markande, while for the visitors brought in Peter Handscomb for his first T-20 game.
After being sent into bat by Aaron Finch, the Indians suffered an early set back in the form of Rohit Sharma who was caught by Adam Zampa off Jason Behrendorff for 5.
Rahul along with skipper Virat Kohli added 55 runs for the second wicket, before the latter was caught at long on by Coulter Nile for a quickfire knock of 24.
From being comfortably placed at 80/2, The Men Blue lost wickets of Rishabh Pant, Rahul, Dinesh Karthik and Krunal Pandya cheaply, as they were reduced to 100 for 6 in the 15th over. Mahendra Singh Dhoni played a scratchy innings with an unbeaten 29 runs off 37 balls. India at the end of their allotted 20 overs finished with a paltry score of 126/7.
Coulter Nile was Australia’s best bowler as he ended up with figures of 3/26 in his quota 4 overs.
Chasing the target of 127, Australia started disastrously as they lost new opener Marcus Stoinis to a run out, and skipper Finch who was trapped leg before wicket off Jasprit Bumrah.
The pair of D’Arcy Short and Maxwell together added 84 runs for the third wicket, before the 30 year old all rounder was holed out to Rahul off Yuzvendra Chahal for a magnificent 56.
The visitors lost 2 wickets in the form of the 28 year old left hander D’Arcy Short who was run out in a terrible mix up with Peter Handscomb and Ashton Turner who bowled by the left arm spinner Pandya to reduce the Aussies to 102 for 5.
Bumrah bowled a superb penultimate over by claiming debutant Handscomb caught behind for 13 by wicket keeper Dhoni at fine leg, and then bowled Coulter-Nile by a brilliant yorker on the final ball of the 19th over to keep the game in balance.
With 14 requiring off the last over, the pair of Jhye Richardson and Cummins kept their nerve and steered the Aussies to a thrilling win as the visitors took a 1-0 lead.
Bumrah was India’s most successful bowler as he claimed 3/16. Nathan Coulter-Nile was declared the Player of the Match for his brilliant spell of bowling.
The second and the final T-20 international will be played at Bangalore on Wednesday.