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Australia defeat India to clinch high-scoring series opener

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In a match that saw more than 400 runs being scored, Australia beat India by four wickets to win the first T20I and go up in the three-match series.

A Cameron Green masterclass at the beginning, followed by Matthew Wade’s blitzkrieg towards the end of the chase saw the visitors score 53 runs in the last three overs to record their highest-ever successful chase against India in T20Is.

For India, it was Hardik Pandya and Mumbai Indians’ Suryakumar Yadav’s stellar show with the bat that helped India reach 208/6 in 20 overs.

The match began with Matthew Wade handing Mumbai Indians batter Tim David his maiden international cap for Australia.

Meanwhile, Team India’s starting XI saw Rishabh Pant and lead pacer Jasprit Bumrah miss out to make way for Dinesh Karthik and Umesh Yadav, respectively.

After being put to bat first, Rohit Sharma looked in good touch as he hit Pat Cummins for a four and a six in the second over before a miscued shot in the next over gave Australia their first breakthrough.

India lost their second wicket soon after as Virat Kohli’s stay in the middle was cut short by Nathan Ellis. The 33-year-old planted his shot straight into the hands of Cameron Green, ending his rusty 7-ball innings.

At the end of the powerplay, India managed to get 46/2 but had lost both their important batters.

Aussies failed to capitalize on their positive start as Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul took charge of the innings post powerplay, with some good strokeplay keeping opposition bowlers at bay.

KL Rahul reached his half-century in the 11th over, smashing three sixes and fours apiece before getting dismissed in the next over by Josh Hazlewood for a well-made 35-ball 55, helping the hosts cross the 100-run mark.

Swashbuckling Suryakumar Yadav continued his fine form with a 25-ball 46 to keep the scoreboard ticking.

India accelerated the innings in the final five overs and posted a challenging total of 208/6, which also happens to be their highest T20I total against Australia, courtesy of Hardik Pandya’s free-flowing 31-ball 70.

Aaron Finch came out all guns blazing at the start of the Australian innings, before falling prey to Axar Patel. The visitors raced to 60/1 in the powerplay, scoring at 10 runs per over to put hosts under pressure.

India missed a golden chance to claw back in the contest as Axar Patel dropped a sitter to dismiss the dangerous-looking Cameron Green in the eighth over.

The Men in Blue continued to struggle in the field. KL Rahul dropped another chance to send Steve Smith packing. In the process, Australia breached the 100-run mark in 9.2 overs.

However, Axar Patel made up for his dropped catch with his second wicket, getting the better of Cameron Green to give India a glimmer of hope.

India mounted a comeback as Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell departed in the following over off Umesh Yadav. Rohit Sharma took two reviews each which forced the umpire to overturn his original decision.

Axar Patel returned to take the crucial wicket of Josh Inglis to put brakes on Aussies’ scoring rate.

With 64 runs needed off 35 balls, the game hung in balance.

However, Matthew Wade helped the Aussies score 53 runs in the last three overs to inch closer to victory. Pat Cummins’ four on the second ball of the final over clinched a memorable victory for Australia.

India will now look to bounce back in the second T20I in Nagpur on September 23.

Brief scores: India 208/6 (Hardik Pandya 71*, Nathan Ellis 3/30) lost to Australia 211/6 (Cameron Green 61, Axar Patel 3/17) by four wickets