Hard-hitting performances from India’s batting department ensured the tourists an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the ongoing three-match T20I series against hosts Australia. The Men in Blue registered their tenth consecutive win in the shortest format and at the same time, they recorded their second-highest successful run-chase in the T20Is played in Australia.
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Chasing 195 in 20 overs, India (IND) got a sparkling start to the innings, credits to the opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan (52, 36b) and KL Rahul (30, 22b) for contributing 56-runs for the first-wicket. Rahul and Dhawan kept the scoring rate under check and though the pressure started mounting a bit on the tourists after the duo’s dismissal which was followed by that of Sanju Samson (15,10b) in the 14th over, skipper Virat Kohli (40, 24b) kept knocking those boundaries to keep them in the run-chase.
With Kohli dismissed in the 17th over, Shreyas Iyer (12, 5b) and Hardik Pandya (46, 22b) made sure that the carnage continues as they hammered 46 runs in their unbeaten partnership, with the latter scoring 16 runs off the final over of the innings bowled by Daniel Sams, and finishing off the match with a gigantic six to the cow corner.
Earlier in the day, Australia cruised their way to 191 runs courtesy of the swashbuckling performance from skipper Matthew Wade at the top-order, who scored a 32-ball 58 with 10 fours and a six, and forged a 47-run opening stand alongside fellow opener D’Arcy Short (9). With the latter departing in the fifth over, as he tried to tonk a short ball off pacer T Natarajan at deep square, the onus was now on Steve Smith to get the runs incoming at regular intervals.
Wade’s dismissal brought in the 8th over brought in Glenn Maxwell (22, 13b), who added 45-runs to the third-wicket, and later with Smith getting out after a modest 46 off 38 deliveries, the likes of Moises Henriques (26, 14b) and Marcus Stoinis (16*, 7b) ensured that Australia’s scorecard gets past 190-runs.
Among Indian bowlers, Natarajan emerged highly economical and eventually ended with figures of 4-0-20-2, carrying his form from the first T20I wherein he picked 3/30 in his four overs. Shardul Thakur (1/39) and Deepak Chahar (0/48) were quite expensive in the initial overs. In the spin department, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (1/51) grabbed a solitary wicket while Washington Sunder remained wicketless.
The third and final T20I will take place on December 8 at SCG. India will lock horns with Australia for one last time before the commencement of the Border-Gavaskar Test series.
Meanwhile, here are some of the top tweets that surfaced after India’s nerve-wracking victory over Australia in the second T20I –