India defeated Australia by 11 runs in the first T20I of the three-match series at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Friday.
Chasing 162, Australia openers D Arcy Short (34), and Aaron Finch (35) took their side off to a flyer. The duo stitched a 56-run partnership for the opening wicket and were cruising towards the victory.
However, Yuzvendra Chahal, who came in as a concussion substitute for Ravindra Jadeja, drew the first blood by dismissing Finch in the eighth over.
Chahal did not just stop there and picked up the important wicket of Steve Smith (12) in the 10th over. Soon T Natarajan, who was making his T20I debut sent dangerous Glenn Maxwell (2) back to the hut.
Australia, in fact, kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. All-rounder Moises Henriques did try to contribute with a handy knock of 30 runs, but it wasn’t enough to take his side over the finish line.
In the end, Australia only managed to reach 150/7, losing the contest by 11 runs.
Rahul, Jadeja propel India to 161/7
Earlier, KL Rahul and Jadeja helped India to set a competitive total of 161/7. While Rahul smashed his T20I career’s 13th half-century, Jadeja contributed with a quickfire 23-ball 44 in the later stages of India innings.
Rahul scored 51 off 40 deliveries laced up with five fours and a maximum. Similarly, Jadeja also put up a good show with the willow. The left-hander slammed six boundaries, including a humungous six.
For the hosts, Henriques was the pick of the bowlers. He bagged three wickets for 22 runs in his quota of 4 overs. Apart from him, Mitchell Starc earned two scalps while conceding 34 runs in 4 overs.
Mitchell Swepson, who was playing his second T20I for Australia, got the big fish Virat Kohli (9) as his only wicket in the match. Another leg-spinner, Adam Zampa too picked up one scalp in the contest.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
— Kris Srikkanth (@KrisSrikkanth) December 4, 2020
Here it goes. Well bowled, Natarajan 🥳 https://t.co/e1UcZrYLhE
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) December 4, 2020
Very promising two games for India from T Natarajan. Stay fit. #INDvsAUS
— Jamie Alter (@alter_jamie) December 4, 2020
Whatever the discussion around his presence, once on @yuzi_chahal has delivered a game changing performance.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 4, 2020
Brilliant @yuzi_chahal 👌
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) December 4, 2020
Clinical win👏🔥👏 #AUSvsIND
— Surya Kumar Yadav (@surya_14kumar) December 4, 2020
MoM: Ravindra Chahal 😉 #AusvInd
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) December 4, 2020
Nattuuuuuu Thatttuuuu 🙌🏻 #INDvsAUS
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) December 4, 2020
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) December 4, 2020
Sanjay Manjrekar called Jadeja as "Batting all-rounder". That is the success of Ravi Jadeja in limited overs. He has improved, improved a lot.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) December 4, 2020
— Pragyan Ojha (@pragyanojha) December 4, 2020
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) December 4, 2020
T Natarajan has put Chinnappampatti on the world map. What a lovely story. From someone who played tennis ball cricket there to winning games for India: the journey has been inspiring
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) December 4, 2020
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 4, 2020