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India beats Australia by 37 runs in 1st Twenty20

14Virat Kohli smashed a career-best unbeaten 90 before Australia top order choked against spinners as India secured a 37-run victory in the first Twenty20 on Tuesday.

Kohli continued his sublime ODI form in a strong total of 188-3 after India was put in to bat when Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss. Kohli provided the nucleus of a challenging total by featuring in a 134-run third wicket stand off 87 balls with Suresh Raina, who made 41 against a wayward Australia seam attack.

Australia got off to a cracking start and captain Aaron Finch top-scored with 44 before the chase got disintegrated.

Spinners Ravindra Jadeja (2-21) and Ravichandran Ashwin (2-28) mopped up the top order in quick succession to finish with two wickets each as Australia was bowled out for 151 with three balls to spare.

“I could take this stadium with me wherever I bat,” Kohli said at Adelaide Oval after receiving his man-of-the-match award.

“I just tried to keep things simple and believe that in T20 as well.”

Fast bowler Shaun Tait had a forgetful return to Australia colors after four years to finish with 0-45 while Shane Watson removed both openers in his first over to end up with 2-24.

Opening batsmen Finch and David Warner got Australia off to a flying start by adding 47 runs before debutant Jasprit Bumrah broke through in his second over by having Warner caught at mid-on.

Steven Smith surged Australia to 89-1 in the ninth over before Jadeja and Ashwin claimed three wickets in three overs and took the wheels off the Australian run-chase. Bumrah returned to mop up the tail and finish with 3-23.

“He (Kohli) is hard to stop when he gets going,” Finch said. “When we got our chance to bat, I slowed down a bit and cost ourselves a bit of momentum.”

Earlier, Rohit Sharma provided India with a brisk start with a rapid 31 off 21 balls before Watson struck twice in his first over.

Sharma was caught at mid-on off Watson’s first delivery and Shikhar Dhawan couldn’t judge a slow short pitched delivery and guided a thick edge behind the wickets.

Kohli and Raina then toyed with the Australian bowlers in a meaty third-wicket stand. Kohli continued his rich form from the ODI series which India lost 4-1 and hit nine fours and one of his two sixes was an imperious flick over square leg fence off Tait.

All the three frontline Australian seamers — Tait, Kane Richardson and James Faulkner — went for over 10 an over with Kohli dominating the opposition bowlers.

Tait was rusty and was also guilty of bowling six wide deliveries. Faulkner also ended up with 0-43 after captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed a six and a four in the last over of the left-arm seamer to propel India’s total.