Friday, January 29, 2016

India Humble Australia by 23 Runs at MCG, Take T20I Series 2-0

A Fantastico result for Team India as they trounce Australia at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground in the second T20I by 23 runs and clinch the three match series 2-0 with one to play.

Australian captain Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to bowl first. Australia handed debut's to as many as three players, Nathan Lyon, Andrew Tye and Scott Boland. Maxwell and Shaun Marsh also came in for Warner and Smith. India were unchanged.

India got off to a steady start by scoring 12 runs off the first three overs but then got into over-drive as 17 and 15 runs were scored in the 4th and 5th over bowled by Hastings and Faulkner respectively. By the 10th over India had raced along to 86 for no loss with both Rohit and Dhawan looking set for a big innings.

Dhawan got out reverse sweeping Maxwell but he had done his job by then. He scored 42 off 32 balls. Kohli came in and continued from where he had left in the last game. He cracked some audacious shots and was motoring along with Rohit. Rohit completed his 50 and was run out for 60 made off 47 balls. Dhoni came in at the fall of the wicket and he too began smashing it from the word go. By the time Dhoni got out in the final over, India were already 181. India would eventually finish on 184 for 3 with Kohli again playing a high impact innings off 60* of just 33 balls.

Australia started the run chase in a hurry as India leaked runs in the early stages. They reached 62-0 after 6 overs when Dhoni decided it was time for some spin.  In the very first over by Jadeja, Dhoni missed a relatively easy stumping chance of Marsh. On the other hand Finch was playing a blinder of an innings as he launched both Jadeja and Ashwin into the stands. He had reached 62 off just 33 balls and Australia were 89-0 off 9 overs.

Marsh got out to Ashwin in the tenth over, Pandya got rid of Lynn in the eleventh and then Yuvraj got the big fish Maxwell in the twelfth. The tide had turned in India's favour. Jadeja took a sensational return catch to dismiss Watson and Finch, who was struggling with a hamstring injury ran himself out in the next over for a well-made 74 off 48 balls. Australia still needed 59 off the last 4 overs and the Indian spinners were not going to let the Aussie lower order score that many. Australia could only muster 157-8 in their allocated 50 overs to hand India the match by 27 runs.

It has been a Fantastico turnaround for the Indian team after they were trounced 1-4 in the ODI series earlier this month. India had earlier won the first T20I by 37 runs at Adelaide. The third match of the series in on Sunday at the Sydney Cricket Ground!

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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