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India snatches T20I series after defeating Australia in Sydney


T Natarajan starred with the ball while Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya made it count with the bat as India beat Australia by six wickets in the second T20I in Sydney on Sunday and took an unassailable lead in the three-match series.

Needing 195 runs to win, India were a little watchful at the start. But a free-hit six in the third over changed the momentum of the chase. KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan scored 19 runs in the fourth over bowled by Glenn Maxwell before adding 13 runs more in the fifth over to take India past fifty.

However, their partnership was broken as Andrew Tye got Rahul out for 30 in the final over of the powerplay.

Dhawan and Virat Kohli added 39 runs together during which the left-hander also brought up his half-century in 34 balls.

Kohli and Sanju Samson, who played a couple of attractive shots, added 25 quick runs before the latter was holed out in the deep in the 14th over.

India needed 72 runs in the last six over and were looking for a big over.

Kohli then went after Tye in the 15th over, hitting two fours and a six as India scored 18 runs in the over. In the next two overs, Australia conceded 17 runs and got the big wicket of Kohli for 40.

Hardik Pandya shines

India scored 12 runs off the 18th over as Shreyas Iyer hit a six and a four off Zampa to bring down the target to 25 off the last two overs. The penultimate over saw Hardik adding two more fours to his account as India scored 11 runs in the over.

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India had to score 14 runs in the final over to seal a win. While Sams gave away just two runs on the first two deliveries, Hardik creamed two towering sixes on the next two balls as India won the game with two balls to spare.

Australia’s terrific inning

Earlier, India elected to bowl against Australia, who were led by Matthew Wade in the absence of Aaron Finch.

Both the teams made three changes each to their playing XIs. While Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur and Shreyas Iyer replaced Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami and Manish Pandey in the Indian team, Andrew Tye, Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams were brought into the Australian side.

Wade, who opened the batting, was off to a flying start and scored 47 runs in the powerplay as Australia scored 59 runs in the first six overs. India, though, managed to pick a wicket during that period as T Natarajan dismissed D’Arcy Short.

Wade brought up his fifty in the seventh over before he got a life in the same over. Wade though got out in the eighth over. While Virat Kohli could not hold onto the catch, the Indian skipper was alert to throw the ball towards the wicketkeeper and had Wade run-out for 58.

Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell put up a quickfire 45-run stand to take Australia past 120. However, Thakur broke the partnership, dismissing Maxwell for 22 in the 13th over. Smith was then joined by Moises Henriques in the middle and the pair added 48 runs together as Australia moved closer to 170.

However, India dismissed the two in the space of three runs. While Chahal had Smith caught in the deep for 46, Natarajan got Henriques out in the penultimate over. Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams then added 23 runs off 9 balls to take Australia to 194 runs for the loss of 5 wickets.


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