Shreyas-Mukesh-Bishnoi Trio Shine As Men In Blue Clinch a Thriller

Shreyas-Mukesh-Bishnoi Trio Shine As Men In Blue Clinch a Thriller

Fresh off their World Cup triumph, Australia looked to gain a consolation victory in the final match of the T20 series before leaving the Indian shores. But the young Indian squad didn’t leave the Aussies off the hook that easily as they defeated the Kangaroos by six runs on Sunday at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.    

The Toss

Australian skipper Matthew Wade won the toss and elected to bat first

The First Innings

India trudged along slowly initially as it struggled to play freely on a challenging track that was conducive to turn and was double-paced. Just as Yashasvi Jaiswal (21 in 15b) started to steady the innings, he was caught off the bowling of Jason Behrendorff (4-0-38-2) in the 4th over.

This dismissal triggered a mini-collapse of sorts as the Men in Blue went from 33 for no loss to 55 for 4. Sending batters Ruturaj Gaikwad (10 in 12b), Suryakumar Yadav (5 in 7b) and Rinku Singh (6 in 8b) back to the pavilion.  

But number three batter Shreyas Iyer (53 in 37b, 5×4, 2×6) saved the day with his belligerent half-century. His efforts were bolstered by the cameos of wicketkeeper Jitesh Sharma (24 in 16b) and bowling all-rounder Axar Patel (31 in 21b). 

Their efforts helped India put up a fighting total of 160 for the loss of eight wickets.

The Second Innings

Opener Travis Head (28 in 18b) appeared to be in his rhythm before spinner Ravi Bishnoi (4-0-29-2) bowled him out in the fifth over. Soon after, Bishnoi got batter Aaron Hardie (6 in 10b) caught at long on.

Things started to slow down for the Kangaroos as boundaries became elusive for them from over 8 to 10. But Ben McDermott (54 in 36b, 5×6) changed gears and smashed sixes off the bowling of Bishnoi and Arshdeep. He brought up his fifty in 34 balls to offer much respite to the Aussies.

When 45 runs were needed in the last 5 overs, Avesh Khan (4-0-39-0) bowled an 8-run over and Mukesh Kumar (4-0-32-3) conceded just 5 runs and scalped the wickets of Matthew Short (16 in 11b) and Ben Dwarshuis (0 in 1b) off consecutive deliveries.

Australia was reduced to 129/7 in 17 overs. With 32 runs needed in the last three overs, Wade hit Avesh for a hat-trick of boundaries, keeping Australia in the game. This left 17 runs for the last two overs.

Mukesh conceded only 7 runs in the 19th over of the game, keeping things tight. Thus, Australia needed 10 runs in the final over, with captain Matthew Wade (22 in 15b) still standing at the crease. 

But southpaw quickie, Arshdeep Singh (4-0-40-2) gave an exemplary display of his calm and death-over bowling skills. He not only won the game by conceding just 3 runs in the final over but also sent back the skipper by getting him caught at long-on. 

The Australians managed to score 154 runs for the loss of 8 wickets at the end of the 20 overs. 

The Result

India win the final T20 by six runs. India wins 5-match T20 series, 4-1. 

Axar Patel was named Player of the Match. Ravi Bishnoi was adjudged as the Player of the Series.

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