India scored a defiant six-wicket win over Australia at Sydney with two balls to spare to share the T20I series at one match apiece.
With the confidence of a 1-0 series lead behind them, the Australian openers got off to a fine start, adding 68 runs before skipper Aaron Finch fell in the ninth over for 28 runs off 23 balls (4×4). D’Arcy Short (33 off 29 balls, 5×4) followed five runs later, with Ben McDermott falling the next ball for a golden duck to leave Australia 73-3 in the 10th over.
Alex Carey (27 off 19, 4×4), Marcus Stoinis (25 not out off 15 balls, 3×4, S/R 166.66) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (13 off 7, 2×4, S/R 185.71) lifted Australia to a defendable 164-6 off their 20 overs.
Krunal Pandya did the most damage, dismissing four of Australia’s top five batters for just 36 runs (econ 9.00). Playing in his sixth T20I, his figures were his best to date, having previously only taken two wickets, each in separate T20Is. Kuldeep Yadav also played his part by bowling a tight spell that played an important role in keeping the Aussie batters in check (4-0-19-1, econ 4.75).
India bettered Australia’s opening stand as Rohit Sharma (23 off 16, 1×4, 2×6, S/R 143.75) and Shikhar Dhawan (41 off 22, 6×4, 2×6, S/R 186.36) got off to a flying start, adding 67 for the first wicket in 5.3 overs.
Virat Kohli showed his class once again, scoring an undefeated 61 off 41 balls (4×4, 2×6, S/R 148.78) to guide India to victory in the last over. Dinesh Karthik (22 off 18, 1×4, 1×6) added an unbeaten 60 with Kohli for the fifth wicket in 6.3 overs, the pair batting at a rate of 9,23 runs per over to see their side home.
India’s wickets were shared equally among four of the Aussie bowlers, Adam Zampa (1-22, econ 5.50) and Glenn Maxwell (1-25, econ 6.25) the pick of the bowlers, while Stoinis had a night to forget, going for 22 runs off his only over, with two sixes and two fours flying to the boundary off his six balls.
The Australians failed to hit a single six in their 20 overs, while the victorious Indians slashed eight sixes. However, the Aussies hit 21 fours to the 12 scored by India, giving them a total of 84 runs in boundaries compared to India’s 72.
‘Obviously, it feels really great to contribute in a winning side. I had to back myself after that first game. It feels good to overcome those type of hurdles,’ said Pandya, who was honoured as the Player of the Match for his superb four-for.
The two countries next meet in the first Test of a four-match series on 6 December at Adelaide.
Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images