India fought back wonderfully © AFP
India fought back wonderfully © AFP

India played Australia in Match 31 of T20 World Cup 2016 at Mohali. The match was a virtual quarter-final, with the winner progressing to the semi-final.  Australia galloped to a terrific start but the Indian bowlers managed to bring themselves back into the game by striking at regular intervals. Australia finally finished at a mediocre 160 for 6 on a Mohali pitch that looked good for batting. Given their start they would have expected to score in excess of 180. Here are some of the highlights from the first innings of the match. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia, Super 10 Group 2, Match 31 at Mohali.

Usman Khawaja gets off to a flier: Usman Khawaja started the match with a pull to midwicket for a boundary off Ashish Nehra. In the next over he hit Jasprit Bumrah for four boundaries: to midwicket, mid-on, square leg, and backward point. Nehra was hit for another boundary to midwicket, but finally struck when he had Khawaja edge behind to MS Dhoni for 26 off 16 balls with 6 fours. LIVE CRICKET UPDATES: India vs Australia, Super 10 Group 2, Match 31 at Mohali

Ravichandran Ashwin strikes back: India’s best bowler for some time, Ravichandran Ashwin started poorly with a 22-run first over courtesy of two sixes from Aaron Finch. Ashwin was hit for a four by Finch in his next over, but came back by getting David Warner stumped by a long way for 6 off 9 balls. Ashwin’s second over cost 9 runs, but he managed to take a massive wicket in the process. READ: India restrict Australia to 160 for 6 in ICC T20 World Cup 2016 virtual quarter-final

Yuvraj Singh strikes first ball: On the morning of the match Yuvraj Singh’s father Yograj had launched a tirade against Dhoni for under-bowling his son in the World T20. Whether or not Dhoni heard about it or not is unknown, but Yuvraj got the ball in the 10th over. It proved to be a great call, as Steven Smith edged behind first ball. Yuvraj ended up bowling 3 overs for just 19 runs with 1 wicket. READ: Yograj Singh to MS Dhoni: What the f*** is happening?

Aaron Finch plays lone hand: Despite the excellent start, Australia ended up floundering. Finch waged a long battle, scoring 43 off 34 balls before holing out to Shikhar Dhawan off Hardik Pandya. Finch was the top-scorer for Australia, and the only other batsman than Glenn Maxwell who crossed 30.

India’s terrific fightback: After conceding 54 in less than 5 overs, India would have been bracing themselves to chase down an Australian total in excess of 185. However, the bowlers put up their hands and fought back wonderfully. Nehra was the pick of India’s bowlers, taking 1 for 20 in his 4 overs. Jasprit Bumrah went for 17 runs in his first over but conceded only 15 off his next 3 overs. Yuvraj and Ravindra Jadeja too were excellent.

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is an animal lover and comic, film and TV geek. A fast bowler at heart, he enjoys watching a good, low-scoring game of cricket. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)