Fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile took three wickets on his return to limited-overs cricket as Australia beat India by three wickets with the final delivery in a low-scoring first Twenty20 international at Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
Needing 14 runs off the final over, bowled by paceman Umesh Yadav, Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson each hit a boundary before they scampered to complete two runs off the last ball to reach their target of 127 in a nail-biting contest.
Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested for India’s limited-overs trip to New Zealand, took 3-16, including two wickets in his final two deliveries in the penultimate over, but it proved inadequate.
Coulter-Nile led a strong bowling display by the touring side with 3-26 in his four overs as Australia restricted India to a paltry 126-7 in the first of the two-match series after captain Aaron Finch won the toss and chose to field.
Australia also got off to a shaky start and were reduced to 5-2 before Glenn Maxwell and D’Arcy Short combined in a third-wicket stand of 84 to steady the chase.
Maxwell hit 56 off 43 balls, his innings studded with six fours and two sixes. Short, who opened the innings for Australia with Marcus Stoinis, was run out for 37.
After Maxwell’s dismissal, India fought back spectacularly to reduce Australia to 113-7 from 89-2 before the thrilling last-over finish.
Here we take a look at how the Twitterati reacted to the cliffhanger at Vizag, with a majority unhappy with Umesh's final over:
The Vidarbha pacer will not be browsing Twitter for a day or two now, given the flood of angry tweets coming in:
It was a comeback match for Umesh Yadav. He did well. Helped Australia come back in the game. #IndvAus
— SAGAR (@sagarcasm) February 24, 2019
Umesh Yadav pulling off what Gautam Gambhir could never do. Stealing the credit from MD Dhoni.
— rohitswarrior1 (@The_Sleigher) February 24, 2019
The last two overs of the Australia innings, bowled by Bumrah and Umesh respectively, couldn't have been more contrasting. Drew a plenty of comparisons:
Turning a lost match upside down - Jasprit Bumrah, Mumbai Indian Turning a won match upside down - Umesh Yadav, a Royal Challenger true blood — Elite Alagappan (@IndianMourinho) February 25, 2019
Bumrah and Umesh is the difference between MI and RCB
— saumya. (@dilsevirat18) February 24, 2019
There were those, primarily analysts and former cricketers, who sided with the under-fire Umesh:
That 19th over from Bumrah was out of this world. Tells you why he is the best. 14 was more than imagined in the bank for the last over but wasn't to be for Umesh Yadav. Shows too why 8/9 need to have some batting skills
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 24, 2019
Easy to target Umesh tonight. Please remember that the last white ball game he played was the tied game vs WI last year. He’s played only a handful of Tests (was MOTM in one of them) in between. Bowlers didn’t lose India this game....batsmen did. #IndvAus — Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 24, 2019
In the end, the match turned out to be one that was worth every penny, and Australia deserved every bit of credit for holding on to their nerves till the last ball:
Good effort by India to come so close to defending 126. Hopefully , they would have learnt from this experience and will be on the other side of the result ,next time in such a situation . Congratulations to Aus for holding their nerve and winning in the end. #IndvAus
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) February 24, 2019
With inputs from Reuters
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Former Black Caps coach Hesson insisted Australia were better at handling swing bowling that India, adding that New Zealand were more or less equal when it came to bilateral contests in recent years.
Paine took over the Test captaincy in 2018 in the wake of the Sandpaper-gate ball tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket.
Carey has played plenty of limited-overs cricket for Australia and stood in as the one-day captain in the West Indies this year, but is yet to feature in a Test match.