India thrash Australia in only T20I
A swashbuckling knock from Yuvraj Singh (77*) aided by the calm of skipper MS Dhoni (24*) helped India overcome a humungous chase of 202 with 2 balls to spare, as they thumped Australia in the only T20I at Rajkot.
Earlier, India won the toss and elected to bowl first in the one-off encounter. The Australian openers Aaron Finch (89) and Nic Maddinson (34) got off to a thundering start, putting up a 50-run stand inside 5 overs. However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/35) got the breakthrough, rattling Maddinson’s stumps. With 14 fours and 1 six, Finch continued his attack from one end, but was handicapped by the quick dismissals of the dangerous Shane Watson (6) and captain George Bailey (0) brought about by Vinay Kumar (3/26) in the same over. Australia were 84/3 in the 8th over.
Glenn Maxwell then played a 13-ball 27 cameo, getting his side back into the game. Brad Haddin (5) fell cheaply, followed by Finch who was finally caught-and-bowled by Vinay; but the tail-enders came to the party and successfully helped Australia put up 201/7 on the board at the end of 20 overs.
It wasn’t the start India wanted, as opener Rohit Sharma (8) departed in the 2nd over. His partner, Shikhar Dhawan (32) continued to strike the ball hard and gave the team a much needed boost. Suresh Raina (19), Virat Kohli (29) got the starts but were unable to convert them into big scores. India were reeling at 100/4 in the 12th over, facing a required run-rate of almost 12 and desperately in need of a partnership.
It was Yuvraj Singh who then took charge, unleashing his destructive side, as he struck an unbeaten 35-ball 77 that included 8 fours and 5 huge sixes in his comeback. MS Dhoni (24) played the supporting role but struck the winning runs in the 20th over.
Australia have now lost 7 of their last 8 Twenty20 Internationals, and will have their task cut out as they take on a boosted Indian team in the first of the seven ODIs at Pune on October 13.