Match report: Aus v Ind – 1st T20I
Sydney, Feb 1: Australia trounced India by 31 runs in the first T20 International of the two-match series being played between the two sides. Matthew Wade, who posted a career-best score of 72, and David Hussey, who made an allround impact with his batting (42) and bowling (two for 4), were the stars for the hosts in the first international match played here at Stadium Australia, Sydney.
As many as three Australians made their T20 International debut in this match. George Bailey, Xavier Doherty and James Faulkner all earned their respective T20I caps while Rahul Sharma made his international T20 debut for India.
The hosts got off to a fluent start after MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to field. David Warner smashed 25 off 14 deliveries, including 18 runs in the third over of the innings, before he was caught by Suresh Raina at extra cover off Vinay Kumar.
Travis Bart enjoyed a life when he was dropped by Rahul Sharma off the leg-break bowler’s own bowling. However, Birt (17) couldn’t convert that dropped opportunity into a more substantial score as he was caught by Raina at cover off R Ashwin’s bowling in the 10th over. The hosts were 79 for two at the fall of Birt’s wicket.
Opener Matthew Wade then unleashed a flurry of big hits, including a sequence of 4, 6, 4 off Ravindra Jadeja in the 13th over to bring up his maiden half-century in T20 Internationals.
A brief rain delay for about 20 minutes in the 15th over interrupted Australia’s progress; they lost Wade (72 off 43 balls) soon after play resumed. However, with David Hussey (42 off 30) hitting some lofty blows towards the end, the hosts posted a competitive innings score of 171.
India began the run chase on a dismal note. Virender Sehwag, having smashed a Brett Lee delivery for four, edged the next ball from the pacer to David Hussey at first slip.
Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli struck a threatening 41-run, second-wicket partnership off five overs, but with India losing three wickets in the space off 11 deliveries, the visitors’ run chase was derailed.
Hussey had Gambhir (20) offering an easy catch to Mitchell Marsh at cover while Kohli (22) was out caught at long-on by David Warner in Brad Hogg’s first over. Hussey picked up his second wicket in the eighth over when he had Rohit Sharma (0) bowled to leave India in tatters at 53 for four.
MS Dhoni played a lone, battling innings, but with the run-rate mounting, and Suresh Raina (14) and Ravindra Jadeja (7) not providing adequate support to the India captain, the hosts finally ended their innings at 140 for the loss of six wickets in 20 overs. Dhoni remained unbeaten with a career-best score of 48 while R Ashwin was not out on 15.
The second T20 international between the two sides will be played on February 3 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Brief scores: Australia 171/4 in 20.0 overs (Matthew Wade 72, David Hussey 42, Suresh Raina 1/22, Rahul Sharma 1/27) beat India 140/6 in 20.0 overs (MS Dhoni 48*, Virat Kohli 22, David Hussey 2/4, Daniel Christian 2/35) by 31 runs
Man-of-the-match: Matthew Wade for a sparkling 43-ball 72 which included five fours and three sixes