Brisbane:The Indian team under S Badrinath began their campaign with a bang, crushing local favourites Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) by six wickets in their first match of the Emerging Players Twenty20 Tournament here.
After restricting the locals to a modest 101 for seven wickets in their allotted 20 overs, the Mumbai duo of Ajinkya Rahane (43 not out) and Abhishek Nayar (30) guided India to 102 for four in 18.3 overs to complete a facile victory.
Rahane was unbeaten after a sedate 55-ball 43 that had just three fours in it. Nayar chipped in with a contrasting 19-ball 30 studded with five fours.
Opting to bat first, the Australians had an ominous start as Sudeep Tyagi caught Rob Quiney off his first delivery and the locals eventually slumped to 24 for four inside seven overs.
Tom Cooper stood tall amid ruins with a heroic 57-ball 63 that was studded with six fours and two sixes but none of his teammates managed double digit scores as the Australians somehow crawled past the 100-mark.
India's chase was far from smooth as Murali Vijay (0), Badrinath (2) himself and Virat Kohli (7) were cooling their heels inside eight overs as the visitors slumped to 19 for three.
Rahane, however, found a perfect foil in fellow Mumbaikar Nayar and the duo forged a 50-run stand to steady the ship.
Even though Nayar fell in the 14th over, R Ashwin (15 not out) and Rahane ensured there was no further hiccup.
India play South Africa in the next match here.
Australian Institute of Sports: 101 for 7 in 20 overs (Tom Cooper 63 not out; Sudeep Tyagi 2-15, Pradeep Sangwan 2-20).
India Emerging Players: 102 for 4 in 18.3 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 43 not out, Abhishek Nayar 30; Peter George 2-9).