Dhawan, Kohli guide India to 9 wickets victory
RANCHI: India rode on opener Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli's brilliant knock to score 49/1 (D/L method) against Australia in the rain-marred match to register a nine wicket victory in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket match at the JSCA International Stadium Complex here on Saturday.
India thus took a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series against Australia.
Dhawan (15 not out) and Kohli (22 not out) helped India cross the line with three balls to spare.
Chasing the revised target of 48, India lost opener Rohit Sharma (11) cheaply as he fell prey to Australia pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile's delivery in the second over.
Untroubled by the dismissal, fellow opener Dhawan and Kohli smacked the ball all over the park to help India seal a comprehensive victory.
Dhawan's 12 ball innings was laced with three boundaries, while Kohli also smacked three fours in his 14-ball knock.
For Australia, Coulter-Nile was the only successful bowler returning the figures of 1/20.
Earlier, due to rain, Australia's innings ended at 118/8 in 18.4 overs.
For the visitors, opener Aaron Finch was the highest scorer with 42 runs in 30 balls.
It was a good day for the Indian bowlers and fielders as they overpowered the visiting batsmen. Apart from one or two instances, the bowlers and fielders displayed brilliant work to restrict Australia.
India started off on a good note as pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar sent back skipper David Warner (8) in the first over itself. But soon, in-form Finch and Glenn Maxwell (17) stabilised the Australian innings and forged a 47-run partnership for the second wicket.
Just when things seemed good for the visitors, the Indian spinners played their part and leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed Maxwell in the seventh over to make the scorecard read 55/2.
After adding a few runs, Finch was also dismissed by chinaman Kuldep Yadav in the ninth over.
Australia's middle-order drastically failed as Travis Head (9), Moises Henriques (8), Daniel Christian (9), and Tim Paine (17) failed to rise to the occasion and were dismissed cheaply.
In the last five overs, the lower order -- Coulter-Nile (1), Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa -- tried to pace up the innings but Indian pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar controlled the proceedings.
But with eight balls remaining, rain played spoilsport and the umpires decided to end the innings.
For India, Kuldeep and Bumrah took two wickets while Bhuvneshwar, Hardik Pandya, Chahal took one wicket each.