CANBERRA: Concussion substitute Yuzvendra Chahal took three wickets as India beat Australia by 11 runs in the first Twenty20 International in Canberra on Friday but the win was soured by an apparent hamstring injury to all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
In a contest laced with controversy, Jadeja top-edged into his helmet in the final over but was not tested for concussion on the field at the Manuka Oval.
He ended up scoring a valuable nine runs off the last three deliveries to push his team to a defendable total of 161 for seven.
Jadeja, however, was ruled out during the innings break, and Australia coach Justin Langer had a heated argument with match referee David Boon before the home side began its chase at Manuka Oval.
Leg-spinner Chahal rubbed salt into Australia’s wounds by removing captain Aaron Finch for 35 and star batsman Steve Smith for 12 in quick succession to swing the momentum back to India.
He returned to dismiss Matthew Wade for seven with the last ball of his quota, the wicketkeeper slog-sweeping to captain Virat Kohli at deep midwicket.
“Obviously it’s a great feeling,” Chahal beamed after being named man-of-the-match. “It’s my pleasure to take their wickets. They know the conditions very well and I bowled according to my plans.”
India claimed their second successive win of the tour after beating Australia in the third One-day International on Wednesday.
But they will anxiously await the prognosis for Jadeja’s injury less than two weeks before the series-opening Test in Adelaide on Dec 17.
Jadeja called for a trainer in the 19th over as he struggled to bat with his injury but he gathered himself to hammer 24 runs off the last seven balls faced in his unbeaten 44.
Australia were also left counting the cost, with Finch suffering a muscle injury in the field and hobbling between wickets during his knock.
Australia have already lost opener David Warner to a groin injury for the T20 series and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis has been recovering from a soft tissue injury.
Opener K.L. Rahul scored a sparkling 51 off 40 balls and left-arm seamer T Natajaran took 3-30 for the tourists, who ended up cruising to victory despite a mixed display in the field, with Finch dropped twice in successive balls.
The second of the three-match series is in Sydney on Sunday.
K.L. Rahul c Abbott b Henriques 51
S. Dhawan b Starc 1
V. Kohli c and b Swepson 9
S.V. Samson c Swepson b Henriques 23
M.P. Pandey c Hazlewood b Zampa 2
H.H. Pandya c Smith b Henriques 16
R.A. Jadeja not out 44
Washington Sundar c Abbott b Starc 7
D.L. Chahar not out 0
EXTRAS (LB-2, W-5, NB-1) 8
TOTAL (for seven wkts, 20 overs) 161
FALL OF WKTS: 1-11, 2-48, 3-86, 4-90, 5-92, 6-114, 7-152.
DID NOT BAT: Mohammed Shami,
BOWLING: Starc 4-0-34-2 (2w); Hazlewood 4-0-39-0 (1nb); Zampa 4-0-20-1; Abbott 2-0-23-0 (1w); Swepson 2-0-21-1; Henriques 4-0-22-3 (1w).
A.J. Finch c Pandya b Chahal 35
D.J.M. Short c Pandya b Natarajan 34
S.P.D. Smith c Samson b Chahal 12
G.J. Maxwell lbw Natarajan 2
M.C. Henriques lbw b Chahar 30
M.S. Wade c Kohli b Chahal 7
S.A. Abbott not out 12
M.A. Starc b Natarajan 1
M.J. Swepson not out 12
EXTRAS (LB-4, W-1) 5
TOTAL (for seven wkts, 20 overs) 150
FALL OF WKTS: 1-56, 2-72, 3-75, 4-113, 5-122, 6-126, 7-127.
DID NOT BAT: A. Zampa, J.R. Hazlewood.
BOWLING: Chahar 4-0-29-1; Washington Sundar 4-0-16-0; Mohammed Shami 4-0-46-0; Chahal 4-0-25-3 (1w); Natarajan 4-0-30-3.
NOTE: Injured Jadeja was replaced by Chahal.
RESULT: India won by 11 runs to lead three-match series 1-0.
UMPIRES: R.J. Tucker (Australia) and S.A.J. Craig (Australia).
TV UMPIRE: P. Wilson (Australia).
MATCH REFEREE: D.C. Boon (Australia).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Yuzvendra Chahal.
SECOND MATCH: Sydney (N), Sunday (1:10pm PST).
THIRD MATCH: Sydney (N), Tuesday (1:10pm PST).
Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2020