Chahal and Rahul ensure India’s T20 win

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Team India defeated Australia by 11 runs in the first of three T20 Internationals at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.

Australia skipper Aaron Finch won the toss and opted to bowl, with the visitors posting a total of 161 runs for the loss of seven wickets. 

KL Rahul was the highest run-scorer, accumulating 51 runs off 40 deliveries.

The wicketkeeper-batsman registered his 12th half-century in T20Is, during the course of the innings.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was the second-highest run-getter, smashing 44 runs off 23 balls. Jadeja’s knock comprised of five boundaries and a six.

Moises Henriques was the pick of the bowlers with his spell of 3 for 22.

After Mitchell Swepson had pouched the key wicket of Kohli, Henriques snared KL Rahul, Samson and Hardik Pandya to pull the plug on the run rate.

Australia begin well

The Australian chase started off on an attacking note with Finch smashing the ball to all corners of the ground.

Australia went on an early attack through Finch and Short as they added 56 in 46 balls, but went on a long, slow decline after the loss of the first wicket.

Finch was once again the pick of Australia’s batsmen, hitting a quick fire 35 before he was Chahal’s first victim, caught brilliantly in the deep by Hardik Pandya.

However, the Australian skipper’s dismissal helped Team India make a comeback in the game.

Concussion rule controversy

Jadeja was struck on the helmet by Starc in the final over.

Jadeja was not expected to take the field after the blow to his head but Australia were caught off-guard by the fact that his replacement Chahal was going to be allowed to bowl due to the concussion rule.

Australian coach Justin Langer got into a heated exchange with ICC match referee David Boon during the innings break when notified of Jadeja’s replacement.

To add insult to injury for Australia, captain Aaron Finch picked up a hip injury that will require scans in the coming days.

Yuzvendra Chahal made a decisive impact, accounting for Finch’s dismissal before sending back Steve Smith early.

Chahal received support from left-arm pacer T Natarajan who made his presence felt on debut. The duo finished with three wickets apiece, to help India register a win which seemed unlikely at one stage.

It was a great comeback by the Men in Blue after having conceded the ODI series.

India 161 for 7 (Rahul 51, Jadeja 44*, Henriques 3-22, Starc 2-34) beat Australia 150 for 7 (Finch 35, Short 34, Chahal 3-25, Natarajan 3-30) by 11 runs