Australia capitulate to spin again despite valiant Finch effort
India 184-3 (Sharma 60) beat
Australia 157-8 (Finch 74) by 27 runs
Second Twenty20 International in Melbourne
A valiant 74-run knock from Aaron Finch went in vain as the Indian spinners pulled Australia back after a fantastic start to complete a 27-run series clinching victory in the second Twenty20 International in Melbourne.
Prior to taking a 2-0 lead in the three-match series, India’s total of 184 runs was set up due to fantastic fifties from Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
Australia won the toss and chose to bowl first with six changes in their side. Nathan Lyon, Andrew Tye and Scott Boland were handed T20I debuts.
India started cautiously reaching 12 for naught after three overs. Over the course of the next two overs, Sharma (60) struck four boundaries while Shikhar Dhawan (42) hit a six and a four to push India to 50 for naught by the end of the powerplay.
Dhawan struck another six and a boundary but the 97-run opening stand came to end when he was caught at point trying to reverse sweep Glenn Maxwell (1-17).
With a boundary to the third man fence Sharma reached his fifty in 37-balls. In the 14th over, Kohli (59 not out) smacked John Hastings (0-35) for three boundaries and followed it up with a six in the next over as India reached 134 for one by the end of 15 overs.
A misunderstanding between Kohli and Sharma resulted in the latter being run out.
Kohli also completed his half-century in just 29 balls while a nine-ball cameo from MS Dhoni (14) pushed India’s total to 184 for three after 20 overs.
India scored 98 runs in the last 10 overs. Tye (1-28) and Hastings were the only wicket-takers.
Australia got to a terrific start in the chase as Finch (74) and Shaun Marsh (23) bludgeoned the Indian bowlers to reach 62 for naught in the powerplay.
Finch had already struck eight boundaries by this time while Marsh struck two. Marsh survived when Dhoni missed a stumping chance off the bowling of Jadeja in the seventh over.
With a six over mid-wicket, Finch raced away to a 27-ball fifty. He then was given back to back reprieves with the substitute fielder Umesh Yadav dropping a tough chance at deep mid-wicket and Dhawan shelling a sitter in the 10th over.
A few moments later, Finch inured him hamstring trying to sneak a quick single. India managed to hold on to a catch when Marsh holed out to long on a few moments later off Ravichandran Ashwin (1-27).
At the half-way stage, Australia needed 90 runs to win with nine wickets in hand. India pulled things back with two wickets in consecutive overs.
Chris Lynn (2) got a top edge which was caught by Dhoni while Maxwell (1) was stumped off the bowling of Yuvraj Singh (1-7).
In the 15th over Ravindra Jadeja (2-32) held a fantastic return catch to dismiss Shane Watson (15) and Finch was run out in the next over as he was struggling to make it back with the injured hamstring.
With four overs left in the chase, Australia still needed 59 runs with five wickets in hand.
A few minutes later, the ball ricocheted off Dhoni’s pads to effect a stumping to dismiss James Faulkner (10) giving Jadeja his second wicket.
Hastings (4) and Tye (4) were castled in the final over with India wrapping up a 27-run victory as Australia only managed 157 for eight.
The win also gave India an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Jasprit Bumrah (2-37) and Jadeja had two wickets each while Ashwin, Hardik Pandya (1-17) and Singh shared three wickets equally.
Kohli was awarded the man of the match for his fifty for his impactful innings.
© Cricket World 2016