marcus stoinis
Marcus Stoinis (Getty Images)

Australia captain Aaron Finch was a happy man after his team defeated India by four runs in the first T20I what turned out to be a close affair at the Gabba on Wednesday.

With the win, the hosts also broke their run of four straight defeats in the format. At the heart of their win was an all-round performance from Marcus Stoinis who held nerves to defend 13 runs in the final over apart from picking up two wickets as well.

Handy contributions from Glenn Maxwell (46), Chris Lynn (37) and Stoinis (33*) pushed Australia to 158/4  in 17 overs. As a result of a rain-delay, the match was reduced to 17-over-per-side and India were left chasing 174 .

Under the revised playing conditions, only two bowlers could bowl four overs. With Jason Behrendorff and Adam Zampa having already bowled four overs, Finch turned to Andrew Tye and Stoinis in the death overs. Billy Stanlake had bowled three overs so he was out of the available options. As it turned out, Tye proved expensive after being hammered for 25 runs in the 14th over and the tourists needing 35 off the remaining three overs. But Stoinis did well and conceded 11 in the 15th over and then swung the match Australia’s way in the final over.

“The bowlers did a really good job,” Finch said at the post-match presentation. “Some of our bowling was outstanding under pressure. Going with three frontline quicks, and one all-rounder in Stoinis, he is the one we wanted to do that job at the end. And he did it beautifully.”

Before Stoinis sealed the deal, it was legspinner Adam Zampa who turned the tide amidst Shikhar Dhawan’s blitz. He got rid of KL Rahul and Virat Kohli in successive overs to dent India’s chase to finish with figures of 2/22. “Really good feeling. Virat being the player he is, getting him out was a really nice feeling,” said Zampa who was chosen as the man-of-the-match.”

The second T20I will be played in Melbourne on Friday.