Following India's emphaptic ODI series victory over the Aussies, the Men in Blue defeated Australia by nine-wickets in rain-hit first T20 match of the three-match series at Ranchi's JSCA Stadium.
India won the toss and elected to field first against the Aussies, who were under pressure from the start after losing their skipper David Warner in the first over. However, Aaron Finch (42) alongside Glenn Maxwell (17) kept the foot on the accelerator for the Aussies scoring 50 runs in 6.1 overs. While Yuzvendra Chahal picked up the big wicket of Maxwell for the fourth time on the trot, Kuldeep Yadav dismissed Aaron Finch (42) and Moises Henriques (8) off successive overs that brought about Australia's downfall. Hardik Pandya joined the party as he reduced Australia to 89/5, dismissing Travis Head.
Having lost three wickets in quick succession, wicket-keeper Tim Paine tried to play a late cameo role for the Aussies. However, his stay was short lived as Bumrah picked the wickets of Paine (17) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (1) in quick succession. Daniel Christian was run out by the Indian skipper Virat Kohli in the next over before the rain stopped the match. Australia left the pitch in a shamble at 118/8 in 18.4 overs.
Kuldeep Yadav finished with figures of 2/16, complemented well by Jasprit Bumrah's 2/17. Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal and Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked one wicket each. Bumrah became the second highest wicket-taker (36 wickets in 26 matches) for India in T20I's going past Ashish Nehra's tally of 34 wickets.
Chasing a revised total of 48 runs in 6 overs, India reached home with 3 balls and 9 wickets to spare. Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma made a strong and positive start to the innings. However, Rohit scored just 11 of just 7 balls before Coulter-Nile got better of him. Thereafter, skipper Virat Kohli and Shikhar took Team India across the finishing line. Virat Kohli-led side is now 1-0 ahead in the three-match series now, with the second T20I looming large.
In other cricketing matches, South Africa swept the series 2-0 against Bangladesh, by winning second test match by an innings and 254-runs. After posting a mammoth 573/4 d, the Proteas bowled Bangladesh out for 147 and 172 in the first and second innings respectively. Kagiso Rabada registered his third 10-wicket haul in his Test career. The action now shifts to the three ODIs and Bangladesh will be hoping to put up a better performance.
Elsewhere, Pakistan are battling Sri Lanka in the second test in Dubai. Chasing an improbable 317 for victory Pakistan were reduced to 52 for 5, before Sarfraz Ahmed and Asad Shafiq put on an unbroken 146-run stand to carry Pakistan within 119 of an improbable victory. If the Lankans win this match, it will be the first time since 2010 that Pakistan have been defeated in the UAE. On the other hand, if Pakistan get across the line, it would be their third 300-plus chase against Sri Lanka in the past four years.