VISAKHAPATNAM — Australia won on the last ball of its first Twenty20 match against India for a three-wicket victory Feb. 24.
With 14 runs needed from the last over, Umesh Yadav conceded two boundaries and Pat Cummins (7 not out) and Jhye Richardson (7 not out) gave Australia the win by scampering home for two runs off the final delivery.
Put into bat, India scored 126-7, with Australia reaching 127-7 in 20 overs.
Lokesh Rahul scored 50 off 36 balls, including six fours and a six. Glenn Maxwell’s 56 off 43 balls anchored the Australian innings with Jasprit Bumrah’s 3-16 from four overs going in vain.
From 89-2, Australia nosedived to 113-7 as India tightened its bowling and fielding.
Bumrah struck off successive balls in the 19th over to go past 50 wickets in T20 internationals, only the second India bowler after Ravichandran Ashwin (52) to do so in this format.
Earlier, India didn’t get off to the best start with Rohit Sharma (5) holing out off Jason Behrendorff.
Rahul reached his sixth T20I half-century off 35 balls. He put on 55 runs with India captain Virat Kohli (24) as India reached 69-1 in the ninth over. But India lost wickets in quick succession, starting with Kohli who was caught at long on off Adam Zampa, and the run rate slowed.
Nathan Coulter-Nile took 3-26 in his four-over spell and was named man of the match. He dismissed Rahul and Dinesh Karthik (1) in the space of five balls in the 13th over as India lost control of the innings. Rahul was caught at mid-off, while Karthik was bowled off a quick inswinger.
In reply, Australia was reduced to 5-2 by the third over with Bumrah trapping Aaron Finch for a first-ball duck. Maxwell then smacked his way to a sixth T20I half-century off 40 balls as he gave impetus to the Australian innings with six fours and two sixes.
Maxwell holed out off Yuzvendra Chahal in the 14th over, caught at long off.
Kohli lamented a lack of runs on the board for his team.
“Pleased with Rahul scoring runs, but overall we were not up to scratch. We didn’t really bat well even though pitch was decent till the 15th over,” Kohil said. “But we are pleased with the bowling effort. Australia deserved to win.”
The second and final T20 is in Bengaluru on Feb. 27.