HYDERABAD: India won the third and deciding Twenty20 against Australia in the last over after punchy half centuries by Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav on Sunday.
The hosts won by six wickets with one ball remaining after Hardik Pandya, unbeaten on 25, hit the winning boundary.
Kohli and Yadav put on a century stand to stabilise the innings after India lost both openers — Rohit Sharma (17) and K.L. Rahul (1) — early in their chase after Australia scored 186-7.
Yadav hit five boundaries and as many sixes in a 36-ball 69 and was looking unstoppable until he fell to Josh Hazlewood, with Kohli then taking over as he hit 63 runs off 48.
Pandya kept his cool while facing a relentless Australian attack after Kohli’s dismissal in the final over with India still five short of victory and wrapped up the win with a boundary off Daniel Sams.
Put in to bat, impressive fifties by Tim David and Cameron Green took Australia to a formidable score.
Rookie opener Green hit a 21-ball 52, with seven fours and three sixes, to put the hosts on the defensive.
But Green received little support from other top-order batters as left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who has been India’s best bowler in the three-match series, chipped away at the other end.
Patel finished with 3-33 and took the key wickets of skipper Aaron Finch (7), Josh Inglis (24) and in-form Matthew Wade (1).
The hosts looked set to restrict Australia to a below-par score before the newest T20 sensation Tim David dismantled the Indian pacers in an impressive display of power hitting.
David hit a 27-ball 54 with four sixes and two boundaries before he was dismissed by Harshal Patel, who finished with 1-18 after two overs.
Green was also Australia’s most impressive bowler with three wicketless overs for only 14 runs.
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who impressed with his leg-spin in the last match, leaked 44 runs in his four wicketless overs.
Daniel Sams took two wickets for 33 runs while seniors Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood took one wicket each and gave away 80 runs in their eight overs.
The series comes ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia next month.
C. Green c Rahul b Kumar 52
A. Finch c Pandya b A. Patel 7
Steven Smith st Karthik b Chahal 9
G. Maxwell run out 6
J. Inglis c Sharma b A. Patel 24
T. David c Sharma b H. Patel 54
M. Wade c & b A. Patel 1
D. Sams not out 28
P. Cummins not out 0
EXTRAS (LB-1, NB-1, W-3) 5
TOTAL (for seven wkts, 20 overs) 186
DID NOT BAT: A. Zampa, J. Hazlewood
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-44 (Finch), 2-62 (Green), 3-75 (Maxwell), 4-84 (Smith), 5-115 (Inglis), 6-117 (Wade), 7-185 (David)
BOWLING: Kumar 3-0-39-1 (2w), A. Patel 4-0-33-3, Bumrah 4-0-50-0, Pandya 3-0-23-0, Chahal 4-0-22-1, H. Patel 2-0-18-1 (1w, 1nb)
K.L. Rahul c Wade b Sams 1
R. Sharma c Sams b Cummins 17
V. Kohli c Finch b Sams 63
S. Yadav c Finch b Hazlewood 69
H. Pandya not out 25
D. Karthik not out 1
EXTRAS (B-1, LB-4, W-6) 11
TOTAL (for four wkts, 19.5 overs) 187
DID NOT BAT: A. Patel, H. Patel, B. Kumar, J.Bumrah, Y. Chahal
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-5 (Rahul), 2-30 (Sharma), 3-134 (Yadav), 4-182 (Kohli)
BOWLING: Sams 3.5-0-33-2 (2w), Hazlewood 4-0-40-1, Zampa 4-0-44-0, Cummins 4-0-40-1 (w1), Green 3-0-14-0 (w1), Maxwell 1-0-11-0
RESULT: India won by six wickets.
SERIES: India won the three match series 2-1.
Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2022