MOHALI — Australia produced a dominating performance to beat India by four wickets in the first T20I, to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Tuesday.
Brilliant fifties by Hardik Pandya and K.L Rahul and a vital knock by Suryakumar Yadav powered India to 208/6 in 20 overs. While India lost the wickets of Rohit and Kohli inside the first six overs, there was a great show of intent by Hardik (71 not out off 30), KL Rahul (55 off 35) and Suryakumar (46 off 25).
For Australia, medium pacer Nathan Ellis 3/30 was the pick of the bowlers.
Chasing a big target, opener Cameron Green played a sensational knock (61) and gave Australia a flying start. However, India made a comeback by picking four wickets between the 11th and 15th over.
Eventually, Australia needed 40 runs more off the last 18 balls and Matthew Wade (45 not out off 21) played an attacking knock. He remained not out to take Australia over the victory line in 19.2 Overs with four wickets in hand.
Axar Patel was the most successful bowler for India with 3/17 while others were ordinary.
Brief scores: India 208/6 in 20 overs (Hardik Pandya 71 not out, KL Rahul 55; Nathan Elis 3/30, Josh Hazlewood 2/39) lost to Australia 211/6 in 19.2 overs (Cameron Green 61, Matthew Wade 45 not out; Axar Patel 3/17 by 4 wickets. — (IANS)