India skipper Virat Kohli led from the front with a sparkling 61 not out to help secure a series-levelling 6-wicket victory over Australia in the third and final Twenty20 International on Sunday.
With the win, India levelled the 3-match series 1-1 and are now unbeaten in their last 10 T20I series which started with the one-off T20I against Sri Lanka in 2017.
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India since drew a 3-T20I series with Australia 1-1, beat New Zealand (2-1) at home, Sri Lanka (3-0) again at home and South Africa (2-1) away in 3-match series.
India then clinched the T20 Nidahas Trophy beating out Bangladesh and hosts Sri Lanka earlier this year.
India defeated Ireland in both the T20Is at their home to win the series 2-0 and followed it up be beating England 2-1 away again.
Returning home, they recently whitewashed West Indies in a 3-match series
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 25, 2018
Kohli, on a personal note, also became the 4th highest run-scorer in T20Is, with 2167 runs, surpassing New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum (2140) in the process.
Krunal Pandya picked up a four-wicket haul and gave away just 36 runs in four overs, to set the record for the best bowling figures by an Indian in T20Is on Australian soil. It is also the best figures by a spinner in Australia in T20Is.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 25, 2018
Shikhar Dhawan surpassed Kohli to top the list of most T20I runs in a calender year with his 689 runs from 18 matches in 2018. Kohli had scored 641 runs from 15 matches in 2016.
Rohit Sharma climbed up to third on that list, with 590 runs from 19 matches in 2018, overtaking Pakistan’s Fakar Zaman, who has scored 576 runs.
On Sunday, chasing 165 to win, India suffered a mid-innings slump that left them needing 52 off the last five overs. Kohli combined with Dinesh Karthik, who made 22 not out, to see India home with two balls to spare.
India got off to a blistering start as Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan collected 20 runs from the first three overs before accelerating.
They plundered 20 runs from the next over from Nathan Coulter-Nile while Marcus Stoinis bled 22 in the following over.
To stop the carnage, Aaron Finch brought back Mitchell Starc and the left-arm quick, playing his first 20-over international in more than two years, did not let his captain down, trapping Dhawan lbw for 41 to end the 67-run stand.
Adam Zampa bowled Rohit, who hit two sixes in his 23, in his maiden over and India slumped to 108-4 after KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant fell in successive deliveries.
Kohli added 60 runs with Karthik and sealed the victory with back-to-back fours.
Having won the toss and elected to bat, home captain Finch (28) combined with D’Arcy Short (33) to give Australia a flying start but the hosts could not make the most of it.
They added 68 runs for the opening partnership when Pandya got into the thick of the action in the ninth over.
The all-rounder caught Finch at short fine leg, before dismissing Short and Ben McDermott off successive deliveries to drag India back into the contest.
Alex Carey denied Pandya a hat-trick but eventually fell to the left-arm spinner after making 27.
Stoinis made a breezy 25 not out down the order as Australia overcame their mid-innings slump and collected 57 runs from the last five overs.
Pandya took 4 wickets while Kuldeep Yadav also impressed conceding only 19 in a tidy four overs that included Finch’s wicket.
Australia, who won the rain-hit series opener in Brisbane, could not manage a single six in their innings against India’s eight.
The second match in Melbourne was washed out.
The teams now square off in a four-Test series beginning in Adelaide on Dec.
News credit : Msn.com