India kickstart T20I series with a comprehensive win

India are off to a positive start to the three-match T20I series against Australia, by beating the host by 11 runs in the series opener at Manuka Oval, Canberra.

Natarajan celebrates maiden T20I wicket

India’s long tour to Australia has arrived in the T20I series now. After winning the ODI series, Australia came into the series opener in a commanding position. Australia won the toss and asked India to bat first, at Manuka Oval Canberra.

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After being put in to bat first, India had the start they would not have wanted. Shikhar Dhawan was outplayed by Mitchell Starc and sent back to the pavilion for just one run. Following him, the Indian skipper also departed earlier off Swepson’s bowling. Middle-order also had the same story for India.

On the other side, KL Rahul brought up his half-century, before returning to the pavilion on 51. At one point, it looked like 150 was a big ask for India. Somehow Ravindra Jadeja managed to take his team home with some power hitting in the end. The left-handed batsman smashed unbeaten 44 runs off 23 balls including 5 fours and 1 six. Finally, India set a target of 162 for the hosts.

For the second innings, India brought in Yuzvendra Chahal as the concussion replacement for Ravindra Jadeja, who got a hit on his head in the last over. Australian openers Aaron Finch and D’Arcy Short provided a solid start in the chase. But Yuzvendra Chahal provided the needed breakthrough for India by dismissing the Australian skipper in the eighth over.

In his very next over, the leggie sent the in-form Steve Smith back to the pavilion. The dangerous Glenn Maxwell was trapped by an lbw by the debutant T Natarajan for his first T20I wicket. Since then Indian bowlers took control of the game.

At the end of the allocated 20 overs, Australia scored 150 runs and fell 12 runs short of the target. And that handed over an 11 runs victory for India to start the T20I series on a much positive note. With the ball both Yuzvendra Chahal and the debutant, Natarajan took three wickets each for India.

Match Summary:

India: 161/7(20) [KL Rahul 51(40), Ravindra Jadeja 44*(23), Moises Henriques 3/22]

Australia: 150/7 [Aaron Finch 35(26), Yuzvendra Chahal 3/25, T Natarajan 3/25]

Result: India won by 11 runs

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