India have yet to win on their Australia tour after losing the first of two Twenty20 internationals by 31 runs to the home side at the Sydney Olympic stadium yesterday.
Before the biggest crowd for a single day’s cricket in Sydney of almost 60,000, Australia rattled up 171 for four off their 20 overs after being sent into bat and reduced India to 140 for six.
India were hoping to bounce back to form in the shorter version after being thrashed 4-0 in their Test series against Michael Clarke’s side.
Matthew Wade, who is keeping wicketkeeper Brad Haddin out of Australia’s Twenty20 and one-day teams, justified his selection with a man-of-the-match performance with 72 off 43 balls and slick glovework behind the stumps.
Wade smashed three sixes and five fours opening the innings with David Warner, who made 25 off 14 balls before he was the first wicket down.
Warner, coming off Australia’s Test series win over India, thrilled the large crowd with an audacious six, as he switched from his normal left handed grip to right hand to send the ball careering over deep extra cover into the stands.
Warner hit two sixes and took 19 off Ravi Ashwin’s second over before he was out when he skied Vinay Kumar to Suresh Raina at extra cover.
Wade raced to 70 before a rain delay affected his concentration and he was out two runs later after the restart in play.
David Hussey cracked 42 off 30 balls with three sixes and a four before he was out attempting a big slog only to be bowled by Rahul Sharma on the penultimate delivery of the innings.
India again started disastrously, losing Virender Sehwag on the third ball of Brett Lee’s opening over for four and he was followed by a steady procession of teammates back to the dressing room.
Opening partner Gautam Gambhir made 20 off 14 balls and Virat Kohli was splendidly caught near the boundary ropes by Warner for 22 giving 40-year-old legspinner Brad Hogg his first wicket for Australia in four years.
Rohit Sharma, who has waited all tour for a chance to bat for India in the Test series, was bowled for a first ball duck by David Hussey and Raina scored 14 off 15 balls before he was bowled by Dan Christian.
Only skipper M.S. Dhoni showed any resistance with three sixes and a four in an unbeaten 48 off 43 balls, while Ashwin remained 15 not out.
Christian and Hussey finished with two wickets each for Australia.
The second Twenty20 match takes place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground tomorrow.
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