India beat Australia in a thriller to level the series
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After a four-wicket loss in the first T20I, the Indian cricket team bounced back to beat Australia by six wickets at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on Friday and leveled up the series 1-1.
In what was a curtailed match, fine knocks from the experienced Aaron Finch and Matthew Wade helped the Aussies reach 90/5 in their quota of eight overs. Chasing a target, captain Rohit Sharma led from the front with a fiery 20-ball 46 to help the Men in Blue cross the line with four balls to spare.
The start of the match was delayed by over two hours due to a wet outfield though there was no rain throughout the day.
An eight-overs-a-side game with two overs of powerplay was decided by the match officials post final inspection.
Team India skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to field first.
India made two changes to their starting line-up from the first match as Rishabh Pant and Pacer Jasprit Bumrah returned in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav, respectively.
For the Aussies, Daniel Sams replaced the injured Nathan Ellis whereas Sean Abbott came in for Josh Inglis.
After a nervy first over, Australia lost their first wicket in the form of Cameron Green courtesy of some brilliant effort on the field by Virat Kohli.
Soon After, Axar Patel got rid of Glenn Maxwell and Tim David in successive overs with the former returning for a golden duck.
In the last ball of the fourth over, Mumbai Indians bowler Jasprit Bumrah nailed in a yorker to send the dangerous-looking Aaron Finch back to the pavilion. Even the Aussie skipper applauded the quality of the yorker while walking back.
Matthew Wade continued his form with the bat from the first T20I with a well-made 20-ball 43 and a 19-run final over off Harshal Patel propelled the visitors to a respectable total of 90/5 in their allotted quota of overs.
In reply, India’s opening duo Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul came out all guns blazing with 20 runs off the first over itself.
Australia found their first breakthrough as Adam Zampa dismissed KL Rahul for 10 runs in the third over. At the halfway mark, India were cruising towards the total at 12.75 runs per over.
However, Adam Zampa put brakes on India’s scoring rate again by bagging the important wickets of Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav in the fifth over.
With India at 55/3, the match hung in balance but Rohit Sharma’s presence on the crease swung the momentum in India’s favour.
Hardik Pandya was removed by Pat Cummins for a run-a-ball 9, but Dinesh Karthik (10* off two balls) finished things off in the final over with a six and a four.
In the process, Rohit Sharma surpassed Martin Guptill as the player to hit most sixes in T20Is. His tally now stands at 176, four ahead of the New Zealand batter.
With the win, India extended their dominant record over Australia at the VCA Stadium. It was their sixth win in as many matches against the visitors across formats at the Nagpur venue.
Brief scores: Australia 90/5 in 8 overs (Matthew Wade 43*, Axar Patel 2/13) lost to India 92/4 in 7.2 overs (Rohit Sharma 46*; Adam Zampa 3/16) by six wickets
An exciting contest awaits in the third T20I, which will take place at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad, on Sunday with the series at stake for both sides.