Sharma leads India to six-wicket win over Australia in shortened T20

Published September 24, 2022
INDIAN captain Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the second Twenty20 International against Australia at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium on Friday.—AFP
INDIAN captain Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the second Twenty20 International against Australia at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium on Friday.—AFP

NAGPUR: Skipper Rohit Sharma’s blazing knock lifted India to a six-wicket victory over Australia in an enthralling and shortened second Twenty20 international in Nagpur on Friday to level the three-match series at 1-1.

Chasing 91 after the match was reduced to eight overs a side due to a wet outfield, Sharma finished with a 20-ball unbeaten 46 and was helped by key cameos by Dinesh Karthik, unbeaten two-ball 10, and Virat Kohli (11) as India hit 92-4 with four balls remaining after Axar Patel (2-13) did the damage earlier.

India were cruising at 51-1 at the halfway stage, with Adam Zampa briefly halting their momentum by taking out opener KL Rahul (10) before turning the game on its head by dismissing Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav (0) in successive balls.

The hosts never lost control of the chase, despite Zampa’s outstanding 3-16 spell, thanks to captain Sharma leading the charge before Karthik hit a four and a six off the only two balls he faced to wrap up the victory.

Pacer Pat Cummins was the only other wicket-taker for the visitors and finished with 1-23.

Overnight rain had rendered the outfield waterlogged and although the weather had been clear on Friday, the start of play was postponed by 2-1/2 hours after several pitch inspections.

India elected to bowl first and reduced Australia to 31-3 in 3.1 overs after Cameron Green was run out and Glenn Maxwell fell for a golden duck to Axar, who bowled Tim David in his next over.

Jasprit Bumrah, playing his first match in over two months, marked his return with a searing yorker to dismiss Aaron Finch (31) before Matthew Wade’s unbeaten 43 off 20 carried Australia to a formidable total as Harshal Patel conceded 19 runs in the final over.

It was Wade’s second consecutive impressive innings in the series. On Thursday, the Australian wicketkeeper hit 21-ball 45 in the first match to help the visitors chase down a mammoth 209-run victory target.

The teams will meet in Hyderabad on Sunday for the series decider.

Scoreboard

AUSTRALIA:

A. Finch b Bumrah 31

C. Green run out 5

G. Maxwell b A. Patel 0

S. Smith run out 8

T. David b A. Patel 2

M. Wade not out 43

EXTRAS (W-1) 1

TOTAL (for five wickets, eight overs) 90

DID NOT BAT: S. Abbott, P. Cummins, D. Sams, A. Zampa, J. Hazlewood

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-14 (Green), 2-19 (Maxwell), 3-31 (David), 4-46 (Finch), 5-90 (Smith)

BOWLING: Pandya 1-0-10-0, A. Patel 2-0-13-2, Chahal 1-0-12-0, Bumrah 2-0-23-1 (1w), H. Patel 2-0-32-0

INDIA:

K.L. Rahul b Zampa 10

R. Sharma not out 46

V. Kohli b Zampa 11

S. Yadav lbw b Zampa 0

H. Pandya c Finch b Cummins 9

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-39 (Rahul), 2-55 (Kohli), 3-55 (Yadav), 4-77 (Pandya)

D. Karthik not out10

EXTRAS (B-1, LB-1, W-4)6

TOTAL (for four wickets, 7.2 overs)92

DID NOT BAT: R. Pant, H. Patel, A. Patel, J. Bumrah, Y. Chahal

BOWLING: Hazlewood 1-0-20-0, Cummins 2-0-23-1 (3w), Zampa 2-0-16-3, Sams 1.2-0-20-0, Abbott 1-0-11-0 (1w)

RESULT: India won by six wickets.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2022

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