T20 WC: India defeat Australia in their second warm-up fixture
India claimed their second consecutive victory in the warm-up fixtures ahead of the T20 World Cup Super 12 stage. They beat Australia by nine wickets, chasing the 153-run target. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul led the run-chase before Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya got India home. Earlier, Team India thrashed England in the first warm-up fixture. Here is the match report.
How did the match pan out?
Australia had a torrid start after they elected to bat. They were reduced to 11/3, with R Ashwin striking in his first over. Glenn Maxwell added some crucial runs (37), while Steve Smith (57) and Marcus Stoinis (41*) guided Australia to 152/5. Rohit and Rahul were on song right from the start. Suryakumar capitalized upon the start given by them, finishing the game eventually.
Ashwin grabbed eyeballs with two quick wickets
Ashwin was brought into the attack in the second over. He dismissed David Warner and Mitchell Marsh on the fifth and sixth ball respectively. The right-arm off-spinner was effective in his second over as well. Notably, Ashwin didn't finish his quota of four overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar makes a comeback
Bhuvneshwar Kumar fared better against Australia after being expensive in the first warm-up game. He bowled in better areas as compared to the England encounter. Bhuvi delivered the goods at the death, having removed the dangerous Steve Smith. The former conceded just six runs in the 20th over. India would want to use his experience in the opening game against Pakistan.
Smith registered a crucial half-century
Smith played a crucial knock after Australia were off the rails in the powerplay. Although the middle-order batter took some time to settle down, he duly accelerated in the middle overs. Smith emerged as Australia's top-scorer. He smashed 57 off 48 balls with the help of 7 fours. Smith shared a 61-run stand with Maxwell before adding 76 runs with Stoinis.
Rohit stole the show with an emphatic 60
Rahul continued his exploits with the bat. He smashed a 31-ball 39 (2 fours and 3 sixes). Rohit, who replaced Virat Kohli in the batting order, stole the show with an emphatic knock. He was all over the Australian bowlers, having scored 60 off 41 balls. Similarly, Suryakumar was completely in the zone. He remained unbeaten on 38 (27).
A look at the other talking points
Hardik Pandya looked bleak during his limited stay in the middle. He failed to time the ball well before finally middling one for the match-winning six. Meanwhile, David Warner's current form is a serious concern for Australia. He scored just one run off seven deliveries after registering a golden duck against New Zealand. Besides, Varun Chakravarthy was wicket-less and expensive in his first outing.