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India vs Australia: All-round Australia Take T20I Opener Despite Dhawan, Karthik Blitz

Cricketnext Staff |November 22, 2018, 3:48 PM IST
India vs Australia: All-round Australia Take T20I Opener Despite Dhawan, Karthik Blitz

Marcus Stoinis' all-round effort, Glenn Maxwell's blitz with the bat and Adam Zampa's miserly spell helped Australia overcome a stiff Indian challenge in a thrilling first T20I in Brisbane.

Australia posted 158/4 from 17 overs with Maxwell top-scoring with a 24-ball 46 and Stoinis scoring 33 off 19. The target for India was revised to 174 due to rain, and the visitors fell short by just 4 runs despite the efforts of Shikhar Dhawan (76 off 42) and Dinesh Karthik (30 off 13). Zampa bagged two wickets in the middle overs while Stoinis defended 13 in the last over.

India opted to field but were slightly sloppy from the beginning. It started right at the top with Virat Kohli dropping Aaron Finch at short cover when on 6. Jasprit Bumrah should have had the wicket but instead, it was Khaleel Ahmed who gave India the first strike off his very first ball when D'Arcy Short mistimed a lofted shot to mid on.

That, though, was the last success for Khaleel. Australia had scored just 38 runs in the Power Play but Chris Lynn changed the momentum in one over off Khaleel, smashing 21 runs including three sixes.

India immediately turned to Kuldeep Yadav to put brakes on Australia, and it worked for a brief while. He had Finch and Lynn in successive overs, leaving Australia with some rebuilding to do at 75/3 in the 11th over. The situation could have been worse for Australia had Marcus Stoinis not reviewed when Krunal Pandya had him leg before in the next over.

From there on, Stoinis and Maxwell took over. Stoinis targeted Khaleel while Maxwell took care of Krunal, putting tremendous pressure on the inexperienced bowlers.

Maxwell hadn't hit a boundary for the first 11 balls but got going smashing three consecutive sixes off Krunal in the 14th over. The spinner conceded a couple more sixes in his next over, finishing with figures of 4-0-55-0. He was slightly unlucky though, when Maxwell mistimed a lofted shot straight to the spycam instead of a fielder. Khaleel wasn't a big deal better either, finishing with 3-0-42-1 as Australia raced past 150 in 16 overs.

Rain arrived after 16.1 overs, forcing the players out for around an hour and reducing the game to 17 overs a side.

India's chase started on a mixed note. Rohit Sharma fell early but Shikhar Dhawan drove India forward, using pace and bounce to good effect. India managed 41/1 in the five-over Power Play, largely thanks to Dhawan.

Dhawan cut, whipped and used his feet well to find boundaries and raced to his half-century off just 28 balls. However, with the required run-rate mounting, India needed someone to support him at the other end.

That didn't happen as KL Rahul managed only 13 off 12 balls before being stumped off Adam Zampa. Much rested on Kohli's shoulders but he too fell to Zampa for 4 off 8.

The equation then was 80 off 37, which only got tougher when Dhawan fell to Billy Stanlake. Zampa ended with 2 for 22 from four overs, changing the course of the game.

Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant tried to change it again with a rear-guard partnership, taking India as close as possible. They seemed down and out when they needed 60 off 24 but the two 'keeper-batsmen smashed 25 off an Andrew Tye over.

It further came down to a very getable 24 off 12, but Pant's dismissal in the penultimate over hurt India. Karthik made it 13 off the last over, but he got the strike only after three good balls by Stoinis. When he fell caught at long-off, the chase was over.

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2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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