Great chase and a clean sweep
India pulled off a dramatic last-ball victory over Australia in the third and final T20 International to achieve a rare 3-0 clean sweep against the hosts today. The win took Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s boys to the top of the ICC T20I rankings, to go along with their No. 1 rank in Tests and No. 2 in ODIs.
This is India’s second-highest run-chase in T20Is — they had overhauled the Sri Lankan total of 206 at Mohali in 2009. Suresh Raina (49 not out) and comeback man Yuvraj Singh (15 not out) kept their cool as they blasted the required 17 runs off the final over to chase down a mammoth target of 198. Australia’s huge total was made possible by stand-in captain Shane Watson’s incredible 124 not out off 71 balls.
Rookie Andrew Tye was given the final over by Watson with a shaky Yuvraj, batting for the first time in the series, on strike. He had scratched his way to five off nine balls before whipping a leg-side delivery over fine leg for a boundary. Now 13 were needed from five balls, and Yuvraj rocked back and smashed Tye over deep mid-wicket for a six to bring the equation down to seven from four balls. Yuvraj and Raina then scampered a single to make it six from three balls. Raina ran two runs twice and finally, two were needed off the last ball, and all the fielders were brought inside the 30-yard circle.
Raina kept his cool as he slashed the ball over point for a four, and the Indian dug-out erupted into wild celebrations as the players rushed to the ground to congratulate the duo. Raina’s 25-ball effort had six fours and a six. But a lot of credit for the win should go to the in-form men Rohit Sharma (52, 38 balls) and Virat Kohli (50, 36 balls), who added 78 in 9.1 overs. Shikhar Dhawan’s smashing cameo of 26 off nine balls had helped India get off to a rollicking start. The T20 series turned out to be an ideal boost for the Men in Blue ahead of the ICC World T20, in a little over a month’s time in their own backyard.
Watson had pulverised a mediocre Indian bowling attack to smash an unbeaten 124 off only 71 balls, hitting 10 fours and six sixers. Such was Watson’s dominance that the next best score was 26 by Travis Head.
The Indian bowlers, impressive in the first two games, were belted out of the park as Australia hit a total of 16 fours and seven sixers. The pair of Ravichandran Ashwin (1/36) and Ravindra Jadeja (1/41) gave away 77 runs in their eight overs.
Openers Watson and Khawaja punished the Indian pacers, and Watson was especially severe on Jasprit Bumrah, taking 26 runs from his two overs. Ashish Nehra sent back Khawaja in the third over, but Watson continued his onslaught as the Australian 50-mark came up in the sixth over.
Jadeja and Yuvraj Singh came on to bowl but could not end the Watson rampage. He added 53 for the second wicket with Marsh off only 27 balls. Ashwin bowled Marsh in the eighth over, and Yuvraj had Glenn Maxwell (3) caught at covers in the 10th over. Australia were 80/3 at the halfway stage.
Watson then raised the tempo, bringing up his fifty off 37 balls, and put on 93 off 47 balls for the fourth wicket with Head. Jadeja bowled Head in the 17th over, but the damage had already been done. — PTI
1 With this win, India have become the No. 1 team in T20Is. They are also No. 1 in Tests and No. 2 in ODIs
1 Virat Kohli became the first batsman to score three 50-plus scores in a bilateral T20I series (90*, 59*, 50)
750-plus scores by Virat Kohli on this tour — 3 in T20Is (90*, 59*, 50) and four in ODIs (91, 59, 117, 106). Rohit Sharma had 5 50-plus scores — 3 in ODIs (171, 124, 99) and 2 in T20Is (60, 52)
Indian women lose to Oz in third T20I
A historic series triumph already sealed, the Indian women’s cricket team faltered in its quest for a clean sweep as it went down by 15 runs to Australia in the third and final T20I following a spectacular batting collapse.
Australia Women: 136/5 (Perry 55*, BL Mooney 34, RS Gayakwad 2/36); India Women: 121/8 (VR Vanitha 28, H Kaur 24, Perry 4/12).
U Khawaja c Dhoni b Nehra 14(6)
S Watson not out 124(71)
S Marsh b Ashwin 9(12)
G Maxwell c Raina b Yuvraj 3(5)
T Head b Jadeja 26(19)
C Lynn c Jadeja b Bumrah 13(9)
C Bancroft not out 0(0)
Extras (lb 2, w 4, nb 2) 8
Total (5 wickets; 20 overs) 197
Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-69, 3-75,
A Nehra 4-0-32-1
J Bumrah 4-0-43-1
R Ashwin 4-0-36-1
R Jadeja 4-0-41-1
Yuvraj Singh 2-0-19-1
H Pandya 2-0-24-0
R Sharma c Watson b Boyce 52(38)
S Dhawan c Bancroft b Watson 26(9)
V Kohli b Boyce 50(36)
S Raina not out 49(25)
Yuvraj Singh not out 15(12)
Extras (b 1, w 7) 8
Total (3 wickets; 20 overs) 200
Fall of wickets: 1-46, 2-124, 3-147
S Tait 4-0-46-0
S Boland 3-0-34-0
S Watson 4-0-30-1
A Tye 4-0-51-0
C Boyce 4-0-28-2
G Maxwell 1-0-10-0
Man of the Match: Shane Watson
Man of the Series: Virat Kohli