Cricket

Australia edge India in thrilling opening T20

2019-02-24 19:00
Glenn Maxwell (AFP)

Visakhapatnam - Glenn Maxwell hit a crucial half-century as Australia edged out India by three wickets in a thrilling last-ball finish at the first Twenty20 international on Sunday.

Pat Cummins hit a four and took two runs to complete a nervous 127-run chase after his fellow paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile restricted India to 126-7 in Visakhapatnam.

Maxwell, who made 56, put together 84 runs with D'Arcy Short for the third wicket to put Australia on course before Jasprit Bumrah hit back with three wickets.

Bumrah got debutant Peter Handscomb caught behind for 13 and then bowled Coulter-Nile on the final ball of the 19th over to keep the game in balance.

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.

"It's a really strong position to be in," Australia skipper Aaron Finch said after the win.

"Nathan is a wicket-taker. He has been very consistent in the IPL (Indian Premier League) as well," he added.

"Maxi (Maxwell) played a hell of an innings on a pitch which was tough to bat."

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.

Veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni made an unbeaten 29.

"A low scoring game is always on the cards in T20 cricket," said Kohli. 

"With the bowling effort we were pleased. Bumrah can do wonders with the ball when it is reversing and did exceptionally well to get us in the game," he added.

"Australia deserved to win as they played better than us."

The build up to the match was dominated by talk of the domestic campaign calling on India to boycott its match against arch-rivals Pakistan in the upcoming 50-over World Cup.

Dozens of Indian troops in Kashmir were killed earlier this month in a suicide bomb attack New Delhi has blamed on Pakistan. 

Kohli said ahead of the game that the team will stand by any decision taken by the government and the country's cricket board in response to the attack.

His side wore black armbands and both teams stood in silence at the start of the game for the men who lost their lives in the February 14 attack. 

The second match is in Bangalore on Wednesday.

Read more on:    india  |  australia  |  glenn maxwell  |  cricket

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

Who will win this year's Cricket World Cup?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.