CANBERRA: Concussion replacement Yuzvendra Chahal took three wickets as India defeated Australia by 11 runs in the first Twenty20 International in Canberra on Friday but the victory was soured by an obvious hamstring injury to all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
In a game laced with controversy, Jadeja top-edged into his helmet in the final over but was not checked for concussion on the field at the Manuka Oval.
To drive his team to a defensible total of 161 for seven, he ended up scoring a vital nine runs off the last three deliveries.
During the innings break, however, Jadeja was ruled out and Australia coach Justin Langer had a tense debate with match referee David Boon before the home side resumed its chase at Manuka Oval.
Leg-spinner Chahal poured salt into Australia’s wounds by dismissing captain Aaron Finch for 35 and star batsman Steve Smith for 12 in fast succession to swing the momentum back to India.
He recovered to dismiss Matthew Wade for seven with the last ball of his limit, the wicketkeeper slog-sweeping to captain Virat Kohli at deep midwicket.
“Obviously it’s a great feeling,” Chahal beamed after being appointed man-of-the-match. It is a joy to see their wickets taken. They are very well aware of the circumstances and I bowled according to my expectations.
India claimed their second consecutive tour victory after crushing Australia on Wednesday in the third One-day International.
But less than two weeks before the series-opening Test in Adelaide on Dec 17, they will anxiously await the prognosis for Jadeja’s injury.
In the 19th over, Jadeja called for a coach as he struggled to bat with his wound, but he gathered to hammer 24 runs off the last seven balls faced in his unbeaten 44.
With Finch sustaining a muscle injury in the field and hobbling between wickets during his knock, Australia were also left counting the bill.
For the T20 series, Australia had already lost opener David Warner to a groyne injury and all-round Marcus Stoinis was suffering from a soft tissue injury.
Opener K.L. Rahul scored a dazzling 51 out of 40 balls and left-arm seamer T Natajaran took 3-30 for the visitors, who, amid a mixed performance in the field, ended up cruising to victory, with Finch dropping twice in consecutive balls.
On Sunday, the second of the three-match series is in Sydney.
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).