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T20I: Suryakumar sets up, Rinku finishes off record chase

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Visakhapatnam: Captain Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan fifties guided India to a last-ball victory over Australia in the first of the 5-match T20I series at the Dr YSR Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here on Thursday.

But the star of the match was pocket-size hero Rinku Singh who smacked a thundering six, though it was not counted, off Sean Abbot’s ball that was declared a no-ball.

The match turned topsy-turvy after Suryakumar’s wicket as India lost too many wickets towards the end, but Rinku Singh kept his cool and took India over the line.

It was Prior Suryakumar who laid the foundation to clinch the victory on captaincy debut after India were in a spot of bother, losing two wickets for 22 runs in 2.3 overs.

Chasing 209 wasn’t going to be easy on any surface, but Suryakumar and Kishan tore the Australian bowling apart and stitched a match-winning 112-run partnership for the third wicket.

Suryakumar left the scene when India was well within sight of victory, with 14 runs required in as many balls. By then, the India captain had hammered a magnificent 80 off 42 balls with nine boundaries and four sixes.

Kishan departed after scoring 58 off 39 balls with 2 boundaries and 5 sixes at a strike rate of 148.72. He was caught by Mathew Short off spinner Tanveer Sangha.

Tilak Varma could manage only 12 off 10 balls, but had clobbered two boundaries before he was caught by Marcus Stoinis off Sangha.

In the last over, however, India lost three wickets. Axar Patel (2) was caught and bowled by Jason Abbot, and Ravi Bishnoi (0) and Arshdeep Singh (0) were run out, leaving India to get a run off the last ball.

Also worth casting the mind back to the superb final over that Mukesh Kumar bowled in the first inning, especially considering how close it got in the end.

This in fact was the highest target successfully chased by India in T20Is. The victory also brought cheers to the millions of Indians who had a sombre week after their side lost to Australia in the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad just three days ago.

Earlier, a blazing 50-ball 110 by Josh Inglis helped Australia post a formidable 208/3. He was the cynosure of Australia innings as he blasted his maiden international century in just 47 balls, and he was particularly severe on Prasidh Krishna as nailed three boundaries in the 8th over.

Walking into the middle after the fall of Mathew Short (13 off 11), Inglis got into his groove without wasting any time as he smacked a boundary off wrist-spinner Ravi Bishnoi by getting a good stride forward and finding the gap wide of cover with the drive.

A struggling Steve Smith gave Inglis company for the most part as the duo shared a partnership of 130 for the second wicket before he departed after scoring 52 off 41 balls.

In the 17th over, Inglis cracked a boundary off a low full toss by slicing it fine past wicketkeeper off Arshdeep Singh to get to the milestone in a blistering fashion.

In reply, India were in a spot of bother by losing two wickets with just 34 runs on board in 4 overs.

Vice Captain Ruturaj Gaikwad was run out without facing a ball after a terrible mixup with his partner Yashasvi Jaiswal.

Jaiswal (21 off 8, 2x4s 2x6s) also followed suit after he failed to get enough elevation off Short and Smith took a good overhead catch in the circle.

Captain Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan are batting on 8 and 4, respectively.

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