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Australia survives nerves to win the first T20 match against India and snap its losing streak

Staff writers, November 22, 2018 8:05AM News Corp Australia Network

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Virat Kohli of India in action during the first Twenty20 International match between Australia and India at The Gabba in Brisbane. Picture: AAP media_cameraVirat Kohli of India in action during the first Twenty20 International match between Australia and India at The Gabba in Brisbane. Picture: AAP

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CRICKET: Australia has survived a nervous finish against India at the Gabba with a four-run win that snapped a four-game Twenty20 losing streak.

In a rain-affected* clash reduced to 17 overs, India was in trouble needing 60 runs off the final 24 balls when chasing a total of 174. Then Australia nearly collapsed.

Andrew Tye (1-47), Australia’s best T20 bowler this year, was hammered* in the closing overs of the match as India threatened to pull off a remarkable victory.

But a strong final over from Marcus Stoinis (3-27) gave Australia a much-needed win to start the three-match T20 series.

Australia’s best with the bat were Glenn Maxwell (46), Chris Lynn (37), Marcus Stoinis (33 not out) while captain Aaron Finch (27) threatened to dominate India before losing his wicket.

Finch hailed Australia’s gutsy performance.

“I thought the boys played really well, particularly through the middle overs with the bat,” Finch said.

“We showed a lot of courage to take it on the way we did I thought some of our bowling was outstanding as well under a lot of pressure.”

Potential number one AFL draft pick, Sam Walsh, at home in Ocean Grove with parents Jacque and Wayne. Picture: Alex Coppel media_cameraPotential number one AFL draft pick, Sam Walsh, at home in Ocean Grove with parents Jacque and Wayne. Picture: Alex Coppel

AFL: The AFL’s new X-factor of live draft trading is about to meet the richest batch of player talent in nearly 20 years.

While the live trading of draft picks could fall flat in tonight’s first round, everyone agrees this is the best group of players since the famous 2001 crop.

Luke Hodge, Luke Ball and Chris Judd led the 2001 draft, which also featured Jimmy Bartel, Nick Dal Santo, James Kelly, Steve Johnson, Sam Mitchell, Leigh Montagna, Gary Ablett and Dane Swan.

This year, it is a given that Sam Walsh, Jack Lukosius, Izak Rankine and Max King will be among the top five choices.

But for the first time, clubs can trade where they are in the draft order. For example, there has been speculation the two Adelaide drafts might try to pry the No. 1 pick from Carlton or the second selection from Gold Coast, given that Lukosius and Rankine are from SA.

Apart from live trading, another new feature is that the draft will be held over two days.

Round one — 19 selections at this stage — will be on Thursday night at Marvel Stadium and the rest of the draft will be on Friday from noon.

“Over the course of the two days, there will be some trading — the first night, I don’t know,” said AFL talent manager Kevin Sheehan.

Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith. Picture: Brett Costello media_cameraMelbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith. Picture: Brett Costello

NRL: Cameron Smith has stunned the Melbourne Storm by asking for a two-year contract in a move that would see the Queensland champion remain in the NRL until 2020.

The Courier-Mail revealed Smith requested the longer-term deal as the Storm hooker eyes an NRL career beyond his 37th birthday.

Should the Storm agree to a two-year extension, it is understood the club would explore ways to ease the strain on Smith, including resting his body during matches. The 35-year-old Smith is the most-capped player in NRL history with 384 matches and could surge past the 400-game milestone by compiling a staggering 19 seasons of NRL service in 2020.

Smith remaining at the club for two years, however, could give Storm some salary cap headaches as it has already signed contracts with many players through to 2020.

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GLOSSARY

  • rain-affected: rain stopped play at times
  • hammered: beaten badly in a contest

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