India win second T20 at Melbourne
Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Virat Kohli played his part as India picked up a 8 wicket win in the second T20 International against Australia at Melbourne, their first win overseas since the win in the first Test against West Indies at Kingston in June 2011.
Australia made a bunch of changes to the team that won the first T20 in Sydney on Wednesday, bringing in Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh and Clint McKay to replace Travis Birt, Dan Christian and James Faulkner while India went in with an unchanged team.
Winning the toss and choosing to bat first Australia raced to 18 in the first two overs before Warner miscued a pull off Praveen Kumar to give India a breakthrough. Shaun Marsh, a walking wicket for the Australians was out before the over ended, edging the ball to Sehwag who juggled it twice before Dhoni completed the catch to reduce Aus to 20/2.
Aaron Finch cut loose with David Hussey for company, piling up 36 off 23 balls before he was run out responding to Hussey’s call for a cheeky single. Jadeja was the fielder and he was to shine again, running Hussey out two overs later.
In Jadeja’s second over, the 14th of the innings with David Hussey on 24 off 29b and ready to explode he deceived the batsman with extra flight, gleefully accepting the return catch off the outside edge. Quick glovework from Dhoni saw Mitchell Marsh stumped in the 18th over, Australia now at 119/6.
Matthew Wade, Australia’s hero from the first T20 threatened to once again rescue them but he was run out trying to steal a single off Vinay Kumar, a direct hit from Rohit Sharma cutting his innings short at 32 off 29b. Vinay had McKay caught behind the next ball leaving Australia at 119/8.
Rahul Sharma had Brad Hogg lbw and Xavier Doherty was run out next ball by Raina as Australia were bowled out for 131 in 19.4 overs, run ragged by India’s exceptional fielding.
Gambhir and Sehwag added a steady 43 in 6.3 balls, collecting a boundary in almost every over, unhurried due to the small target. Sehwag launched the first ball of spin he faced into the stands but perished trying to hit another six, giving Shaun Marsh an easy catch at extra cover to go for 23 off 16b.
Virat Kohli put up a brisk partnership with Gambhir, running impressive singles and again not taking too many chances. The most exciting over of their partnership, off Brad Hogg saw two boundaries, one off an inside edge for Kohli and one by Gambhir chipping it over the infield through extra cover. They added 54 runs off 43 balls before Kohli was caught behind by Wade off Mitchell Marsh, getting an edge to a ball that bounced a bit on him. Virat Kohli made 31 off 29 balls with three 4s.
MS Dhoni promoted himself ahead of Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina, determined to seal India’s first win abroad in more than seven months. Gautam Gambhir brought up his 50 in the partnership, off 54 balls as the duo knocked off the remaining runs comfortably.
With 3 required off 2 overs and George Bailey bringing the field in, the duo took it easy on Hussey who bowled the 19th over, taking only 2 off it. Gambhir played out 3 dot balls in the final over by McKay, finding fielders in the circle pouncing on everything. He averted disaster by walking across and powering the fourth ball through midwicket for a boundary, finishing on 56* off 60 having anchored India’s successful chase.
The Man of the Match award went to Ravindra Jadeja who prompted the Australian collapse with his run outs of Finch and Bailey before drying up the runs with his haul of 3/16.