Twitter Reactions: Australia defy Virat Kohli's stunning 85 to win the dead rubber in Sydney

Twitter Reactions: Australia defy Virat Kohli’s stunning 85 to win the dead rubber in Sydney

Matthew Wade was the star with the bat for Australia.

Adam Zampa
Adam Zampa. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Australia have finally managed to beat India at the Sydney Cricket Ground. This turns out to be their first win in four games at the venue and this loss has also arrested team India’s 10-match winning streak in T20 Internationals. Chasing a mammoth total of 187 runs, the visitors lost wickets at regular intervals and despite the skipper, Virat Kohli scoring a fluent 85, they fell short of the target.

Earlier, after being invited to bat first, Australia lost their skipper Aaron Finch for a duck courtesy of some brilliant bowling from Washington Sundar. However, Matthew Wade continued his good run from the previous outing. He started attacking the opposition bowlers from the word go which allowed Steve Smith to go at less than run-a-ball for the majority of his innings.

The duo added 65 runs for the second wicket and the hosts were off to a brilliant start again despite losing an early wicket. But Sundar once again struck for India castling Smith who scored 24 off 23 balls with only a solitary four. Glenn Maxwell then joined Wade and what followed was some superb hitting.

Both the batsmen rode their luck during the 90-run partnership and got to their respective half-centuries. Wade was impressive yet again playing some eye-catching strokes and at one stage, looked good to get to his ton. He should’ve been dismissed off T Natarajan earlier itself but India ran out of time to review an lbw appeal while Maxwell was extremely lucky as well.

He was out off a no-ball and was then dropped twice which led to the all-rounder smashing 54 off 36 balls. At the other end, Wade scored 80 off just 53 balls. When these two batsmen were going strong, Australia looked set to post more than 200 runs. But India came back strongly in the last five overs conceding only 47 runs and picking three wickets.

Shardul Thakur and Natarajan were decent in the death overs but even then, the home team managed to post a mammoth total of 186 runs on the board for the loss of five wickets. Sundar was the most successful bowler for India with 2/34 while Thakur and Natarajan picked one each.

The Thrilling Chase

India got off to the worse possible start as Maxwell trapped KL Rahul in the first over itself for a duck. Virat Kohli then came out to bat to play some gorgeous strokes even though the team got its first four in the third over of the innings. Shikhar Dhawan, at the other end, scraped his way through to 28 with three fours but was sent back by Mitchell Swepson.

However, the duo had, by then, added 74 runs for the second wicket with Virat Kohli, much like Maxwell, riding his luck, and looking dangerous. But Sanju Samson and Shreyas Iyer couldn’t contribute with Swepson striking twice in the same over. At 100/4 after 13 overs, the visitors were in trouble.

But Kohli was determined on the day as he upped the ante at the right time to hit some glorious shots for six. Hardik Pandya also joined in the fun as the duo churned out a lot of runs off Andrew Tye and Daniel Sams to bring the equation down to 43 runs off the last three overs.

This is when Adam Zampa was brought back into the attack and the leggie sent back Pandya into the hut and gave away only seven runs to keep Australia. Kohli was in the zone having scored 85 runs until then with four fours and three sixes but in quest of quick runs in the penultimate over, he was holed out in the deep off Tye. The game was sealed here itself as India didn’t have the likes of Ravindra Jadeja to finish off the game.

Eventually, India could only reach 174 runs despite Shardul Thakur hitting a couple of lusty blows. With it, their 10-match winning streak was also arrested and it also proved to be their first loss in the format this year.

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