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Dhawan, Kohli, Pandya help India complete big chase, win series
Sydney, December 6, 2020
Hardik Pandya smashed two sixes in the last over to take India to victory in the second T20I against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday.
India have thus taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series and bounced from the defeat they suffered in the ODI series before this.
It also marks the first time since 2016 that India have managed to beat Australia in a T20I series home or away.
Shikhar Dhawan's 52 and captain Virat Kohli's 40 along with a 22-ball 30 from K. L. Rahul helped India bring the equation down to 14 runs needed off the last over in their chase of a target of 195.
Pandya, who had back-to-back fours in the second last over bowled by Andrew Tye, was on strike against Daniel Sams and took two runs off the first ball. He then hit the second ball wide of long-on and cleared the boundary.
Pandya then tried to get an upper cut on the third ball but missed it completely before depositing the fourth past deep midwicket over the boundary. The partnership between Pandya and Shreyas Iyer, who scored 12 off five balls, remained unbeaten on 46. It was India's second highest partnership after the opening stand of 56 between Dhawan and Rahul.
Sams, Tye, Mitchell Swepson and Adam Zampa got a wicket each as Australia bowled as many as seven bowlers.
Earlier, Matthew Wade, who was standing in as Australia's captain and opening batsman in place of the injured Aaron Finch, scored 58 off 32 balls as Australia scored 194/5.
Steve Smith scored 46 off 38 while Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques and Marcus Stoinis chipped in from the lower order to take Australia close to the 200-run mark.
Put in to bat first, Australia got off to a prolific start as Wade and D'Arcy Short added 47 runs within the first five overs.
Wade, in particular, was very aggressive as he collected boundaries at will and put the Indian bowlers, including Deepak Chahar, Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur, under a lot of pressure.
Short, after contributing with 9, became the scalp of T Natarajan who had the Australian caught by Shreyas Iyer at the deep mid-wicket boundary.
Wade, however, continued at the other end and reached his half century mark in the seventh over in just 25 balls.
However, his innings came to a strange end as he was run-out by skipper Virat Kohli. Kohli, who dropped his catch, got his Australian counterpart run out at his individual score of 58 with the help of 10 fours and a six during his 32-ball innings.
Glenn Maxwell and Smith then hit some powerful blows and added 45 runs to the Australian scoreboard before Maxwell got out after scoring 22 off 13.
Smith then joined forces with Moises Henriques and the duo stitched 48 runs off 31 balls to take the team's score past 150.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who was the man of the match in the first T20I, took the prized scalp of Smith who was caught at long-off boundary while attempting to hit his third six in the 18th over of the innings. However, Chahal finished with expensive figures of 1/51 from his 4 overs.
Henriques became Natarajan's second scalp as he was caught behind by Rahul after scoring 26 off 18.
Marcus Stoinis towards the end played a nice cameo of 16 off 7 as the hosts finished their innings at 194/5. Alongside Stoinis, debutant Daniel Sams remained unbeaten at 8 from just three.
Natarajan was the pick of the Indian bowlers as the left-armer returned with magnificent figures of 2/20 in his four overs.