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India win rain-affected Twenty20 vs Australia at Ranchi, take 1-0 series lead

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Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav picked up two wickets as India restricted Australia to 118/8 to win a rain-affected T20I by 9 wickets.

Indian batsmen had little time to produce fireworks, six overs to be precise, but it was enough for them to spark a nine-wicket win in the first T20I against Australia in Ranchi on Saturday. Virat Kohli-led side is now 1-0 ahead in the three-match series now.

After rain forced an early end to Australia’s innings at 118.8 in 18.4 overs, India’s target was set at 48 runs in six overs.Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan opened the innings and could only score five runs off the first over by Jason Behrendorff.

With the target stiff, Rohit went on the offensive with a flick against Nathan Coulter-Nile off the first ball of the second over. The excited crowd was silenced off the very next ball, as the Australian struck back with a straight ball as Rohit’s stumps were rattled.

In came Kohli and crowd frenzy started yet again. He targeted Andrew Tye in the third over with a powerful boundary in the mid-off region while Dhawan played the perfect ally with another boundary through square leg.

With 21 needed off 18 balls, the odds looked strongly in India’s favour. Dhawan further confirmed it boundary off Nathan Coulter-Nile as India reached 36/1 in 4 overs. Then, Kohli did what he does best, pulling Adam Zampa for a four.

With six needed off six balls, Dhawan and Kohli kept their and sealed the target in the first three balls, with the latter hitting the winning runs.

Bowlers’ strong show

Earlier, a young bowling line-up restricted the visitors to 118/8 in 18.4 overs. Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah took two wickets each while Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal and Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked one each for themselves.

With the rivals boasting of one of the most dangerous opening pairs – David Warner and Aaron Finch – Indian bowlers had their task cut out.

Bhuvenshwar Kumar felt the music in the first over with Warner punished him with straight fours. The fast bowler was unperturbed and took his revenge in the same over with a good length delivery that stayed low before taking Warner’s inside edge to hit the stumps.

With Steve Smith already out with injury before the start of the match, and having lost Warner in the opening over, Australia came under pressure.

Finch’s quickfire knock

Finch seemed unaffected with all that was happening around him. He with a powerful cover drive off Jasprit Bumrah in the second over before going after Hardik Pandya in the third.

On a pitch which stayed low, right from the start Finch and No. 3 Glenn Maxwell ran hard to maintain a healthy run-rate.

But just when things looked to brighten up for the Aussies, Chahal struck in the seventh over to remove Maxwell (17). He was was caught by Jasprit Bumrah at short mid-wicket.

Finch stayed silent for an over but got back into his elements in the ninth over, against Chahal, hitting the first six of the match with a powerful swipe over the deep mid-wicket.

Bowlers make merry

As it looked that Finch would reach his eighth T20I half-century, India’s other leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadsav struck in the 10th over. His fuller ball dipped but Finch instead of playing with a straight bat, tried to clip it and got bowled.

There was a lull of two overs before Kuldeep struck again as he bowled Moises Henriques. He came down the track and took a wild swig across the line. The Chinaman bowler pitched it right to rattle Henriques’ stumps as Australia were reduced to 87/4.

Pandya joined the party as he reduced Australia to 89/5, dismissing Travis Head. Pandya came down around the wicket and his back of length delivery hits stumps with head tried to whip the ball over mid-wicket.

Having lost three wickets at regular interval, wicket-keeper Tim Paine took it on himself to up the ante with a cameo against Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Paine’s stay was short-lived as Jasprit Bumrah dismissed him in the 18th over. From 111 to 114, Australia lost three wickets before rain stopped play with the scorecard reading 118/8.

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Muslim Global: India win rain-affected Twenty20 vs Australia at Ranchi, take 1-0 series lead
India win rain-affected Twenty20 vs Australia at Ranchi, take 1-0 series lead
Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav picked up two wickets as India restricted Australia to 118/8 to win a rain-affected T20I by 9 wickets.
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