Glann Maxwell scored a fine half-century as Australia pulled off a thrilling three-wicket win against India in the first T20 International to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series in Vizag on Sunday.
D’Arcy Short and wicket keeper-batsman Peter Handscomb contributed with 37 and 13 runs respectively as Australia lost four of their batsman for a single-digit score in an easy 127-run chase.
Pat Cummins scored the winning runs off the final ball for the visitors and stood unbeaten for seven with Jhye Richardson (7*) on the other end. Earlier, Nathan Coulter-Nile claimed three wickets to help Australia restrict India to 126 for seven after winning the toss.
Australia needed 14 runs from the last over in the first T20I against India in Vizag and went past the finishing line on the final delivery. Australia won by 3 wickets with Nathan Coulter-Nile the man of the match as a profligate Umesh Yadav undid all the good work done by Jasprit Bumrah which he did in his brilliant 19th over.
With 14 required off the last over, Umesh was hit for a boundary each by Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins, who had identical scores of 7 not out as they reached the target of 127 off the last delivery of the match.
However, it was Australia;’s tail-enders, who held the nerve getting the couple required couple of runs off the final delivery of the innings.
But till the 15th over, Australia were in a cruise control mode as Glenn Maxwell (56 off 43 balls) and Darcy Short (37 off 37 balls) added 84 runs for the third wicket to almost seal the match, before Japrit Bumrah (3/16 in 4 overs) bowled an incredible 19th over to bring India back in the match just when it was looking that Australia would canter home.
Jhye Richardson and Cummins, both not out on seven each, then kept their cool in the final six balls against Umesh Yadav to steer the Aussies home.
But the day belonged to Coulter-Nile who returned figures of 3/26 in his four overs, receiving the man of the match award.
Indian batsman KL Rahul, who returned to the side after a suspension for sexist comments during a controversial TV chat show appearance with Hardik Pandya, hit 50 off 36 balls.
His 55-run second wicket stand with skipper Virat Kohli, who made 24, gave India a brisk start but the hosts lost momentum after losing three quick wickets.
Adam Zampa got Kohli’s prized scalp with his leg spin and Coulter-Nile claimed the wicket of Rahul to check India on a tricky pitch.
It was not the start Team India wanted and now all eye on the second T20 which will happen in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
India – 126/7 (Rahul 50, Dhoni 29*, Coulter-Nile 3/26)
Australia – 127/7 (Maxwell 56, Short 37, Bumrah 3/16)