27 from the final over was too much to ask for. Shadul did try his luck but India eventually fall short and lose the game by 12 runs. Australia will be extremely pleased that they were able to finish the white-ball leg with a win after conceding the series already.
The big wicket!
Wade missed a stumping to give Kohli the reprieve. However, after giving a few chances, Australia finally picked up the key scalp with Kohli lifting one to deep point. The Australians are jubilant. The required run rate is now over 20.
Hardik and pyrotechnics
Hardik is at it again!! He cracked a sumptuous lofted drive straight over Tye’s head in the 17th over! Memories of Yuvraj?
However, in the very next over Zampa landed the crucial blow by removing Hardik. Huge wicket in the context of the game.
20 in a single over
India needed a good over and it has come in the 16th! Kohli smacked a couple of sixes and then India’s power-hitter Hardik tonked one over sweeper cover for a six! Sams have given away 20 runs in a single over.
The impressive Swepson continued to dent India, trapping Iyer with the googly. The middle order batsman didn’t read the googly and paid the price. He took the review but couldn’t overturn it. The leg-spinner finishes his quota of four overs with three scalps.
Kohli nudges one to cover and picks up another fifty. Consistency personified. Australia would be ruing about the fluffed chance. On the other hand, Samson holed out to Smith at long-on. He wasn’t going to drop this one. Samson and Swepson duet continues.
Sams and reflexes
Just for a moment, it felt as if Sams would also grass a chance. However, he recovered to take a brilliant catch to send Dhawan back to the hut. He ran across and got both hands to it but for a moment the ball popped out only for Sams to show very good reflexes. Swepson with the wicket and Australia needed it.
India back on track
Flicks, cuts and drives. Kohli at his best. And India’s innings is back on track. Dhawan also cracked a couple of boundaries. Meanwhile, Tye put down a half chance to give Kohli a reprieve. Australia can’t afford to fluff chances off Kohli.
Sitter goes down
Hard to believe this. Smith has put down a sitter at deep midwicket. And it is Kohli!!! The Indian captain lofted one to Smith who got both hands to it but shelled. And Smith is a safe fielder.
Maxwell could have got two big wickets.
Duck for KL!!
What a start for Australia!! The dangerous KL Rahul departs for a second-ball duck. Glenn Maxwell starred with the bat with a rapid fifty and now he gets rid of his IPL captain. Maxwell has two fielders at the leg side boundary and bowls one short to Rahul and the batsman takes the bait to find one of them. Kohli is in early tonight.
India need 187
Eventually, Australia finished with a substantial 186. Maxwell was cleaned up by the incisive Natarajan while Short was run out. However, Australia were looking for quick runs and one expects a few wickets to fall.
Meanwhile, India wouldn’t be pleased with their fielding effort. Dropped chances. Fumbles. Not a good day for the visitors so far.
Wade falls; Maxi on the charge
Eventually, Wade fell for a superbly paced 80! He tried to sweep Shardul but could only connect with thin air and was given out lbw. The southpaw took the review but to no avail.
On the other hand, Maxwell clobbered a few across the line and down the ground to compose a breezy fifty. India didn’t help their cause with the fielder dropping a chance at backward point to give Maxwell the reprieve.
More drama. Maxwell top-edges one to the fielder at square leg but it turns out that Chahal had overstepped. A spinner bowling a no-ball. Not something that Chahal would be pleased. Close call though. Australia having a few lucky escapes.
Lucky escape! Natarajan got one to straighten off the pitch to rap Wade on the pads. It looked close. However, Kohli seemed to take the call to review after the replays came up on the big screen. Something that would be debated as to whether the broadcaster showed it too early.
In fact, the tv umpire seemed to have started the process of reviewing the decision when the on-field umpires decided to not allow the review. Eventually, the on-field umpires were left to convince Kohli as to why it was disallowed. Guess what! Wade would have been a goner.
Wade and Smith looked set to pilot Australia to a sizeable score. However, against the run of play, Smith tried to loft one over cover and was castled by the hint of turn imparted by Sundar. Good delivery from the off-spinner as he slowed it up in the air. The track seems to be assisting spinners a touch.
Wade and string of shots
Wade continued his good form by crunching the pull and cut off Chahar. Meanwhile, Smith has been steady at the other end. The track seems to be a tad two-paced today.
Finch falls early
Australia began on a good note with Wade cracking slogs and pulls. However, Sundar prised out Finch in the second over with the Australian skipper toe-ending a loft to mid-off.
On a side note, Deepak Chahar has found a hint of swing so far.
Toss and teams
India have won the crucial toss and as expected elected to field. And they are going in with an unchanged side.
Kohli: We are going to bowl. Shorter boundaries and we had a good game last time and for the bowling line-up as well we wanted to be more professional and test ourselves. It’s been a really good year for us in terms of T20 cricket, if we keep staying ahead of the opposition, and as a group we want to make sure we keep getting those results and win games of cricket.
Finch: We would have bowled first as well. It’s a used wicket and hopefully we’ll bat well tonight. We did see a bit of turn in the last game and expect the spinners to play key role in the middle overs. Only one change. I come in and Stoinis is out, he’s got a bit of niggle and It’s a long summer ahead and don’t want to take any chances and blow it up. No balls are something that’s killed us over the last few games and we want to control that going forward. Somewhere around 190 is what we are after and you got to be careful as this is a tough ground to defend. We gonna give it all tonight.
Australia (Playing XI): Aaron Finch(c), Matthew Wade(w), Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, D Arcy Short, Moises Henriques, Daniel Sams, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa
India (Playing XI): KL Rahul(w), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan, Yuzvendra Chahal
Good news for Australia!
Skipper Aaron Finch seems to have regained his fitness and will most likely play tonight. Also, Josh Hazlewood is seen warming up alongside Stoinis which could mean Sean Abbott, who was under par in both games, might miss out.
10 wins in a row. India’s impressive run in the shortest format of the game continued in Sydney, with Hardik Pandya providing the finishing touches by landing powerful blows to power the tourists to a series-clinching victory against Australia.
The Indian camp wouldn’t just be buoyed by Hardik’s heroics but also Natarajan’s stellar show. The pacer brings a different dimension to the attack with his left-arm angle.
Meanwhile, the Australian set-up is battling with quite a few players missing out of action. The hosts fielded a rather inexperienced pace attack in the second game with both Kyle Abbott and Daniel Sams playing. On a positive note, Wade, the stand-in captain, gave a glimpse of his hitting prowess with a breezy knock at the top of the order.
Can the home side stop India’s run in T20Is? We will have all the action in a few minutes…
Meanwhile, here’s our preview for the game.