Class Finch act after freak’s stunner as skipper finally fires... but Aussies suffer T20 blow
Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 20-ball 46 helped India seal a six-wicket victory over visitors Australia in the second T20, which was cut to eight overs a-side on Friday.
Home skipper Sharma won the toss and chose to field first in Nagpur and was helped by key cameos by Dinesh Karthik, unbeaten two-ball 10, and Virat Kohli (11) as India hit 92-4 with four balls remaining in reply to Australia’s 90-5.
Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa took 3-16 in his impressive two over spell when most of the other bowlers looked ineffective against in-form Sharma.
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Pacer Pat Cummins was the only other wicket-taker for the visitors and finished with 1-23.
Matthew Wade’s unbeaten 20-ball 43 propelled Australia to a formidable 90-5 after a wet outfield in the rain-hit city delayed the start and shortened the game.
It was Wade’s second consecutive impressive innings in the series.
On Tuesday, the Australia wicketkeeper hit 21-ball 45 in the first match to help the visitors chase down a mammoth 209-run victory target.
The visitors’ captain Aaron Finch on Friday finally found some form with a 15-ball 31 before a stunning Jasprit Bumrah castled him, and the opener could only applaud.
An impressive spell by left-arm spinner Axar Patel put a brake on Australia’s scoring.
Patel finished with 2-13 and was the most impressive bowler for India.
Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah who returned to the team on Friday took one wicket for 23 runs.
Sharma, who was also player-of-the-match, said that Indian bowlers “used the conditions pretty well”.
“You just have to play the situation and use conditions to your advantage,” he said.
“It was good to see Bumrah on the park. Slowly and steadily he is coming back into his rhythm,” he added.
Finch said “Rohit was brilliant” and praised Wade as “a calm customer at the back end of the innings” who “did a wonderful job for us”.
The three-match series, a warm-up for the T20 World Cup in Australia next month, concludes Sunday in Hyderabad.