India defeated Australia by 11 runs in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) to take 1-0 lead in the three-match series on Friday. After KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja took India to a competitive total of 161 for seven, bowlers, especially T Natarajan and Yuzvendra Chahal, helped the visitors to restrict Australia to 150/7. Chahal, who came in as a concussion substitute for Jadeja, was the pick of the bowlers for India. The leg-spinner returned with figures of three for 25 from his quota of four overs.
Chasing 162, Australia got off to a solid start with Aaron Finch and D’Arcy Short scoring freely in the powerplay.
Finch was sent back in the eighth over by Chahal as he holed out to Hardik Pandya at long-off.
The leg-spinner struck again in his next over and removed the in-form Steve Smith as Sanju Samson completed an outstanding diving catch in the deep.
Debutant T Natarajan then trapped Glenn Maxwell in front of the stumps with a length ball that came back in.
After Maxwell’s dismissal, the hosts batsmen kept losing wickets at regular intervals and eventually fell 11 runs short of the 162-run target.
Earlier in the game, Aaron Finch had won the toss and invited India to bat.
India lost their first wicket in the third over as Mitchell Starc cleaned up Shikhar Dhawan for one.
Virat Kohli (9) too failed with the bat and was outdone by Mitchell Swepson.
KL Rahul hit a half-century but the middle-order failed to capitalise. Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson and Hardik Pandya couldn’t get going.
Jadeja played a crucial unbeaten knock of 44 off just 23 deliveries. His innings included five boundaries and a six.
Both teams will now travel to Sydney for the remaining two T20Is.
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