Australia lands the first blow of the Indian tour

Australia lands the first blow of the Indian tour
Glenn Maxwell bats for Australia. Photo: David Molloy Photography, Wikimedia Commons

Australia’s T20 men’s side have brushed off their recent defeat by South Africa to win a narrow, rain affected victory over India in Brisbane. This was the first match of a 3 game series leading into the upcoming Tests, and a good opportunity for Australia to start on the right foot.

Australia started off slowly, however Chris Lynn, Glenn  Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis accelerated to have Australia on the charge with four overs to go. Rain swept in, however, forcing Australia off the pitch. When play resumed Stoinis and Maxwell were only given five balls to finish the innings, and after the distraction could only post five more runs with Maxwell losing his wicket.

Under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method of determining scores in rain affected play, India were given a target of 173 for their 17 overs despite Australia only reaching 153/4. They looked set to hit the target easily, before spinner Adam Zampa struck.

Despite looking out of sorts in the one-day series Zampa took two crucial wickets and only went for 22 runs of his four overs, snuffing out India’s hopes. He was the clear pick of the bowlers, while Marcus Stoinis also picked up two wickets to go with his 33 not out. His bowling was also quite expensive, going for 27 off three overs – although this was still below India’s required run rate.

Maxwell was the star with the bat, scoring 46 of 24 – and he looked certain to go on after posting 6’s for fun just before the rain delay. He also lived up to his billing as the “Big Show”, hitting 3 maximum scores, top scoring for Australia and also hitting the ball into the spider cam with the bat.

In the field he just missed a catch that went for 6 and then took an absolute screamer to snuff out India’s final over chase. This was Australia’s second victory of the home cricket season, and will raise hopes that they can overcome the loss of Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft and David Warner for the summer.

The second match of the series will take place in Melbourne on Friday evening, while the women’s team are playing in the semi-final of the World T20 tournament in Antigua on Friday morning, against hosts the West Indies.