2nd T20I: India beat Australia by 27 runs to seal series in Melbourne


NEW DELHI: India produced another all-round performance against Australia to record a 27-run win in the second T20I at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday and bag the series with a game remaining. Chasing 185 to stay alive in the series, Australia slipped after a brilliant start as they were restricted to 157/8 in 20 overs.

This T20I series win is India’s just second in bilateral contests of more than one match. Their only previous win in a multiple-game bilateral series was against Zimbabwe in 2010, when a second-string side won both fixtures on tour. Coincidentally, their latest series win came against a second-string Australian side.

Yet again chasing a stiff target, after Rohit Sharma (60) and Virat Kohli (59*) fired India to 184/3, the Australians were off to a promising start, racing to 89/0 in just 9 overs. Captain Aaron Finch was in imperious touch as he swatted the Indian pacers all around with impunity. The new ball pair of Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah leaked 62 runs in the Powerplay overs – Finch accounting for 43 of them while Shaun Marsh quietly moved to 16.

In came the spinners Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin. Out came the big hits as Finch creamed them for a six each. Though, Jadeja could have got the wicket of opener Marsh in his first over but for Dhoni who missed a rare stumping chance. The fielders seemed to be taken aback by the proceedings and ended up grassing a couple of chances.

Just then, Hardik Pandya managed to hold on to a catch from Marsh off Ashwin and then removed Chris Lynn (2) in his first over to give India the much needed breather.

Australia were 99/2 after 11, needing 86 from 54, a gettable target considering the big-hitters they had in their ranks. However, the middle order failed to build on to the start and the hosts lost four more wickets for just 38 runs and the game slipped out of their grip quickly.

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