Kohli, spinners shine as India stun Australia
India 188-3 (Kohli 90no) beat
Australia 151 (Finch 44) by 37 runs
First Twenty20 International in Adelaide
Virat Kohli struck an unbeaten 90 following which the Indian spinners spun a web around Australia, who were bowled out for 151 in a chase of 189 runs in the first Twenty20 International in Adelaide giving the visitors a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Australia won the toss and opted to field first. India handed a debut to Hardik Pandya while Australia gave Travis Head his first chance.
Rohit Sharma (31) got India’s innings underway with a boundary and a six in the very first over.
He followed it up with two more boundaries in the third over and was dropped in the fourth by Cameron Boyce (0-23).
Shane Watson (2-24) evened the scales for Australia by striking twice in the fifth over to dismiss Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan (5). Sharma was caught at mid-on while Dhawan edged a delivery to the keeper.
India reached 54 for two in the powerplay. Kohli (90 not out) and Suresh Raina (41) added a 50-run stand in just 39 balls.
Kohli was particularly aggressive and raced away to a fifty off 32 balls. He then struck two boundaries each in the 14th and 15th over to push India’s total to 128 for two with five overs remaining.
Kohli and Raina’s partnership for the third wicket was worth 134 runs that came at 9.24 per over.
Raina fell in the final over to James Faulkner (1-43) but MS Dhoni (11 not out) struck a six and a boundary to push India’s total to 188 for three.
Kohli remained unbeaten after scoring 90 runs from 55 balls, laced with two sixes and nine boundaries. Watson snared two wickets while Faulkner took one for Australia.
Aaron Finch (44) got Australia underway with two fours and a six in the first two overs while David Warner (17) followed it up with a boundary and a six in the third over.
Warner was caught at mid-on off Jasprit Bumrah (3-23) as Australia reached 56 for one by the end of the powerplay.
Pandya (2-37) conceded 19 runs in his first over but Australia lost Steven Smith (21), Finch and Head (2) in three consecutive overs to be placed at 93 for four after 11 overs.
Smith lobbed a catch to Kohli in the covers while Finch and Head were trapped lbw by Ravichandran Ashwin (2-28) and Ravindra Jadeja (2-21) respectively.
In the 14th over, Australia slipped further as Watson (12) holed out to fine leg off Ashwin. India continued to chip away with the wicket of Chris Lynn (17), who was caught in the covers trying to hit a wide delivery from Pandya.
In his next over, Pandya was on a hat-trick after he got Matthew Wade (5) caught at deep mid-wicket. With three overs left in the chase, Australia needed 53 runs with three wickets in hand.
However, India had other plans as they took one wicket each in the remaining overs. Faulkner (10) and Kane Richardson (9) were castled by Bumrah and Ashish Nehra (1-30) in the 18th and 19th overs respectively.
Boyce (3) was the last wicket to fall as he holed out to Pandya at mid-off, giving Bumrah his third wicket.
India bowled Australia out for 151 runs and took a 1-0 lead in the series with a 37-run victory. Kohli picked the man of the match award for his flamboyant knock.
© Cricket World 2016