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Nagpur T20I: Rohit Sharma and Axar Patel heroes in win

Three-match series now stands levelled at 1-1, with the final match coming up in Hyderabad on Sunday
Axar Patel celebrates with teammates after dismissing Glenn Maxwell in the second India-Australia truncated T20I in Nagpur on Friday.
Axar Patel celebrates with teammates after dismissing Glenn Maxwell in the second India-Australia truncated T20I in Nagpur on Friday.
Getty Images

Our Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 24.09.22, 03:13 AM

Rohit Sharma led from the front with an unbeaten 46 off 20 balls as India beat Australia by six wickets with four balls remaining in a rain-curtailed match at Jamtha, near Nagpur, on Friday. The match had been reduced to eight overs per side.

The three-match T20I series now stands levelled at 1-1, with the final match coming up in Hyderabad on Sunday. Chasing a 91-run target, India started on a positive note with Rohit and KL Rahul putting on 39 runs for their opening partnership.

Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya were dismissed cheaply but Rohit kept India in the chase. India needed eight runs off the final over by Daniel Sams and Dinesh Karthik wrapped it up in style with a six and boundary off consecutive balls.

Rohit’s innings included four boundaries and four sixes. Earlier, Jasprit Bumrah removed the dangerous-looking Australia captain Aaron Finch on his comeback match for 31 as Australia reached 90 for five in their eight overs. Put into bat, the Australian start wasn’t good as Cameron Green was run out and Glenn Maxwell was dismissed for a first-ball duck inside two overs.

The teams had to rework their strategies at the last minute because of the curtailed overs. Finch started off by scooping one over the keeper’s head for a boundary and then sent one across the point area to accumulate 10 runs off Hardik Pandya, who opened the bowling for India. Axar Patel was then introduced and Green (5) tried to lift him over long-on but a running Kohli couldn’t hold on to the ball.

Kohli, however, made up for the mistake in the next delivery when his quick throw helped Axar to dislodge the stumps and end Green’s stay. The left-arm spinner was again in action when he cleaned up Maxwell. Once the two-over Powerplay ended, Yuzvendra Chahal came on to bowl but Finch came down the track and hit him for a six as 12 runs came of the third over.

Axar then pegged back Tim David’s middle stump with an arm ball when he looked to go for a slog. His length balls kept Matthew Wade in check before the left-hander nailed a reverse sweep to get a boundary.

Wade once again played the saviour as he smashed 43 not out off 19 balls after Finch’s departure. His innings included three sixes, all coming off Harshal Patel’s last over which yielded 19 runs. Wade ensured the visitors ended things in a flourish as he, along with Steve Smith (8), added 44 runs in the final 18 balls.

Smith was run out of the last ball of the innings.  Axar was brilliant for India, giving away only 13 from his two overs and picking up two wickets but Harshal seemed to be struggling with his length and variations and conceded 32 off his two. A wet outfield due to overnight rain delayed the start of the game.

The two umpires concerned about the safety of the players made two inspections of the outfield at 7pm and 8pm before finally deciding to start proceedings at 9.30pm following a third inspection at 8.45pm.



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