Sydney: Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer chased down 37 runs from the final three overs as India defeated Australia by six wickets in the second T20I of the three-match series on Sunday here at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
With this win, India gained an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Batting first, Australia once again piled on the misery on Indian bowlers and the side posted a total of 194 owing to knocks of 58 and 46 from Matthew Wade and Steve Smith. No Indian bowler apart from T Natarajan was able to leave his mark in the match and dropping catches did not help the visitor’s cause.
India did manage to remain on track throughout the whole chase as Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli played knocks of 52 and 40 respectively. In the final overs, Hardik (42*) and Shreyas (12*) managed to hit big shots to take Men in Blue over the line by six wickets and two balls to spare.
Chasing 195, India got off to a brisk start as openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul put on 56 runs in the first five overs. However, it was Andrew Tye who provided the much-needed breakthrough to Australia as he dismissed Rahul (30) in the sixth over.
Skipper Kohli then joined Dhawan in the middle and the duo put on 39 runs for the second wicket, but during the stint of this partnership, the run-rate slowed down considerably, and in trying to look for a release shot, Dhawan (52) ended up losing his wicket to Adam Zampa in the 12th over. Sanju Samson played a brief knock of 15 runs from 10 balls, but in trying to increase the pace, he lost his wicket to Mitchell Swepson, reducing India to 120/3 in the 14th over.
With India needing 46 runs from the final overs, Daniel Sams got the key wicket of Kohli (40) in the 16th over, pegging the visitors back. In the 18th over, Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya managed to get 12 runs and as a result, the visitors needed 25 runs off the final two overs.
In the final over, Pandya and Shreyas managed to get the job done and as a result, India achieved a victory by six wickets.
Earlier, Matthew Wade and Steve Smith played knocks of 58 and 46 respectively to take Australia’s total to 194/5 in the allotted twenty overs.
Sent into bat first, Australia got off to a quickfire start as openers Wade and D’Arcy Short put on 47 runs inside the first five overs. Looking for a breakthrough, Kohli introduced T Natarajan into the attack, and the left-armer did not disappoint as he dismissed Short (9) in the fifth over.
Wade was looking set for a big score, but a bad mixup in the middle with Steve Smith resulted in the left-handed batsman being sent to the pavilion in the eighth over, reducing Australia to 75/2. Glenn Maxwell then came to the crease and he joined Smith in the middle to put together a quickfire stand of 45 runs for the third wicket.
As soon as Australia started to gain an upper hand, Shardul Thakur dismissed Maxwell (22) in the 13th over reducing Australia to 120/3.
Smith departed after playing a knock of 46 runs, but in the final over, Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams added 17 more runs to the total, taking Australia’s score past the 190-run mark.
Australia 194/5 (Matthew Wade 58, Steve Smith 46, T Natarajan 2-20); India 195/4 (Shikhar Dhawan 52, Virat Kohli 40, Mitchell Swepson 1-25)