IND v AUS: India storm Australia in rainy Ranchi

In a rain-curtailed match, India register a convincing win after the Australian middle-order collapses.

Jasprit Bumrah was India’s star performer with the ball Photo credit: Money Sharma/ AFP

The shortest format in cricket often brings out the best in a contest. After a mismatch in the Test and ODI series’, there wasn’t much to choose between India and Australia when they met for the first T20 International at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi.

India won the toss an opted to field first. Bhuvneshwar Kumar got India off to a flyer when he castled David Warner’s furniture in the first over.

The Indian spinners spun a web on a slow-low track with Yuzvendra Chahal removing his favourite Aussie of late, Glenn Maxwell.

Aaron Finch’s purple patch in white ball cricket was brought to a temporary halt when he was outsmarted by Kuldeep Yadav. The visitors followed a now familiar middle-order collapse as the chinaman struck twice. This time, it was Moises Henriques.

The Indian bowlers took full advantage of a deceptive track and kept chipping away with wickets.

As the wicket column followed an arithmetic progression, everyone dreaded a low-scoring affair.

Travis Head, who could have prompted Australia to a big finish, played outside the line of a ball and was played-on off the bowling of Hardik Pandya.

Tim Paine on his come-back tour had the rub of green going his way for a short while.

Towards the end of the first innings, Virat Kohli turned to his death-over specialist and Jasprit Bumrah’s double strike restricted Australia to 118 for 8 when rain came down in the 19th over.

As the steady showers persisted, there was restlessness not just among the spectators but the players who watched the entire ground covered in blue-sheets.

The rains stopped and play resumed just in time for India to bat six overs that was required for a result. The DLS target was 48.

Rohit Sharma flicked Nathan Coulter-Nile for a maximum but lost his middle pole in the following delivery as India lost their first wicket with just 11 runs on the board.

In at number three, skipper Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan stroked a flurry of boundaries to ensure the Indian run chase was well on track.

The leg-spinner Adam Zampa bowled a tight fifth over but India were just a stroke away from victory with a run-a-ball required in the final over.

As it turned out, Virat Kohli played a gorgeous lofted extra-cover drive to seal the win.

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