Dhawan & Karthik Efforts Go in Vain, India Lose T20I Opener in Aus
India’s tour of Australia commences with defeat, as the hosts claim a narrow 4-run in a rain-hit T20I series opener.
- Australia defeat India by 4 runs (DLS method) in T20I series opener at Brisbane.
- Shikhar Dhawan’s 42-ball 76 in vain as India fall short in 174-run chase in rain-reduced opening game to three-match series.
- Australia: 158/4 in 17 overs (Maxwell 46, Kuldeep 2/24); India: 169/7, target 174 (Dhawan 76, Zampa 2/22)
Shikhar Dhawan’s 42-ball 76 and a 13-ball 30 from Dinesh Karthik couldn’t prevent India from going down by 4 runs via the DLS method in their first T20I against Australia in Brisbane.
Karthik’s late blitz appeared to be taking the visitors home in a rain-curtailed opener to the three-match series kick-starting their tour of Australia, but the Australian bowlers held their nerve in a neck-and-neck finish to help their side emerge victorious at the Gabba.
Chasing a revised target of 174 in 17 overs, India were strongly positioned at 150/4 in 15 before two tight overs from Marcus Stoinis and Andrew Tye saw the hosts over the line.
Australia had earlier posted 158/4 in 17 overs, aided by a late burst from Glenn Maxwell, who smashed 46 off 24 balls.
Crucial Morale-Booster for Australia
Australia’s woeful year – Tampergate, cultural review, record streaks of defeat – meant India entered their tour as favourites across formats.
The start wasn’t the most ideal for the hosts. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah kept things tight after Virat Kohli opted to field after winning the toss, and the first boundary of the day only arrived off the last ball of the third over. The very next ball saw Kohli drop his counterpart Aaron Finch, and although Khaleel Ahmed struck with his first ball to remove D’Arcy Short, number three Chris Lynn signaled the turn in momentum.
After beginning his stay at the crease with a boundary over cover-point, Lynn took Ahmed to the cleaners in the eighth over – three sixes, in the space of five balls, shot Australia’s run rate up from six to nearly eight.
Kuldeep Yadav removed both Finch and Lynn in quick succession in the middle of a frugal spell of bowling, but India’s second spinner – Krunal Pandya – had an outing to forget.
‘Big Show’ Maxwell Steps Up
Having come in at number four, with the score reading 64/2 in 8.3 overs, Glenn Maxwell made an unusually cautious start – taking only 10 runs off the first 11 deliveries he faced. After Lynn’s departure, he was helped by Marcus Stoinis’ busy start to his knock (the all-rounder took 20 off his first 11 balls).
With 13 overs bowled, and rain yet to make an appearance, Australia were heading towards a middling total at 104/3. But that’s when Maxwell decided to take on Krunal Pandya, and push Australia towards a more-than-challenging score. 23 came off the 14th over – including three sixes – and Pandya’s next, too, featured two hits over the fence.
By the time rain intervened, Australia, with 49 runs off their last 19 balls faced, had reached 153/3 in 16.1 overs.
Dhawan Dashes, but Zampa Grips India
Australia’s announced decision to target Rohit Sharma with short-pitched bowling frustrated the Indian vice-captain, as he returned to the pavilion with just seven runs off eight balls. But opening partner Shikhar Dhawan was unaffected at the other end.
India were 78/1 after 8 overs – 59 off those runs had come from Dhawan’s bat, from just 31 balls. That’s when Adam Zampa came into the fray with a game-changing spell.
Brought into the Australian XI after sitting out their previous game, against South Africa, the leg-spinner justified his captain’s faith with two wickets in two overs. Having foxed KL Rahul to have the number three stumped in the ninth over, Zampa delivered the prized wicket of Virat Kohli on a rare off-day for the Indian captain.
The climbing asking rate took its toll on the well-set Dhawan, who perished to leave India on 105/4 in the 12th over. With 60 needed off the last four overs, and victory seemingly out-of-reach, Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik launched into Andrew Tye to take 25 from the 14th over.
The equation had been brought down to 35 off 18 balls, and subsequently reached 24 off the last 12. But Tye and Stoinis got their lines correct at the final time of asking, and India’s lower middle order was unable to take them over the line.
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