Australia defeated India by 3 wickets in the first T20 International played in Vishakhapatnam. It was a thrilling match as it went to the last ball. Till the last ball of the match, we didn’t know who is going to win it. It was surely a great way to start the series. After winning the toss, Australia decided to bowl first and they restricted India to 126 for the loss of 7 wickets in their 20 overs. India had a great start to their innings but they couldn’t finish the innings well. They lost wickets at regular intervals and were struggling at 100 for 6 at the end of the 15th over. MS Dhoni was the only batsman left with the tail-enders. He couldn’t add much to the total but still, he tried his best and helped India to reach 126.
Australia had a poor start to their run chase. Australia was 2 down with only 5 runs on the board. They lost wickets early but Glenn Maxwell and D’Arcy Short built a partnership to put Australia back on track. Glenn Maxwell scored a magnificent half-century in just 40 balls and was dismissed on 56 by Yuzvendra Chahal. The duo put an 84 run stand for the 3rd wicket but when Maxwell’s wicket fell India again got a ray of hope for securing a win. Then Australia lost their way and they kept losing wickets cheaply. Short was run out on 37 by Krunal Pandya. Ashton Turner was clean bowled by Krunal Pandya for a duck. The Indian bowlers fought valiantly but they were unable to defend this low-par score.
The Indian players were seen wearing black armbands to show a mark of respect to the martyred CRPF soldiers of the Pulwama attack. There was a 2-minute silence observed for this as well before the match had even started.
Maxwell and Coulter Nile guides Australia to victory
Glenn Maxwell’s performance was exceptional in this match as he was the only to score a fifty for his team. Short too played well for his 37. In the end, the Australian innings collapsed. They lost too many wickets for just a few runs. In the last over they required 14 runs to win. Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson were at the crease. Each one of them hit a boundary in that over and guided their team to victory. Nathan Coulter-Nile was the pick of the bowlers for Australia as he picked up 3 wickets in his 4 overs. He was expensive in his first over but came back strongly after that. He too picked up the big and much-needed wicket of KL Rahul. Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa, and Pat Cummins picked up 1 wicket each. The Aussies were great with the ball and their fielding was superb too. Hence, they were able to restrict India to 126.
Bumrah’s heroics goes in vain
India didn’t perform well with the bat. KL Rahul scored a splendid fifty in just 35 balls and till he and Virat Kohli were batting, everything was fine. Then Kohli got out by giving a simple catch to Coulter-Nile at long on. Rishabh Pant was run out on just 3 by an amazing throw from Behrendorff. Dinesh Karthik too couldn’t do much and was clean bowled on 1 by Coulter-Nile. It was MS Dhoni who was left alone and had a tough job on his shoulders. Dhoni couldn’t even find a single boundary between the 15th and 19th over. In the last over, he finally hit a six over the covers and got India to 126.
Jasprit Bumrah was the star performer with the ball for India. He picked up 3 wickets and gave just 16 runs in his quota of 4 overs. He gave just 2 runs in the 19th over of the Australian innings and got India into a winning position. Umesh Yadav had 14 runs to defend in the last over but he failed to do so. Krunal Pandya and Chahal picked up 1 wicket each. The debutant Mayank Markande was fine in his bowling. Australia now has taken an unbeatable lead of 1-0 in the series. India will be looking to win the 2nd T20 and also draw the series.