Yadav, Kohli lead India to T20 series win against Australia
HYDERABAD, India (AP) — Suryakumar Yadav’s rapid half-century led India to a six-wicket win over Australia with one ball remaining in their Twenty20 decider for a 2-1 series victory.
Yadav smacked 69 off 36 balls and put on 104 runs with Virat Kohli off 62 deliveries as India scored 187-4 in 19.5 overs. Kohli hit a 48-ball 63.
Earlier at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, India won the toss and asked Australia to bat first in the third T20. Australia scored 186-7 thanks to quick-fire half-centuries from Cameron Green (52) and Tim David (54).
Australia won the first T20 in Mohali by four wickets and the hosts had won the curtailed second game in Nagpur by six wickets.
India made one change to their lineup Sunday with pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar coming in for batter Rishabh Pant. Australia also made one change, with batsman Josh Inglis coming in for bowling all-rounder Sean Abbott.
A capacity crowd watched the game as international cricket returned to the venue for the first time since February 2019.
Chasing a competitive 187, India lost both openers early. Lokesh Rahul (1) and captain Rohit Sharma (17) were out with the score at 30-2 in 3.4 overs.
Kohli then anchored the Indian innings with a relatively sedate half-century. He hit three fours as well as four sixes.
But the impetus came from Yadav, who stunned the Australian bowling with five sixes and another five fours. Yadav got to his half-century off 29 balls as the duo brought up 50 in 32 balls.
Yadav scored 115 runs in the series and was named man of the match Sunday.
“I am liking batting at No. 4. There will be tough challenges but I am willing to express myself and be smart about my shot selection,” Yadav said. “In that situation, I feel I can take my chances.”
Josh Hazlewood (1-40) got the breakthrough to leave India at 134-3 and needing 53 off the last six overs. It only managed 21 runs in the 18 balls after Yadav was caught by Australia captain Aaron Finch.
Kohli and Hardik Pandya (25 not out) combined for a crucial 48 runs with Kohli out in the final over, caught by Finch off Daniel Sams (2-33).
Put in to bat, Green had provided the perfect start for Australia. He smacked seven fours and three sixes off only 21 balls. His half-century came in just 19 balls as Australia scored 66-2 in the powerplay despite losing Finch (7).
Green was then out caught off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-39 in three overs).
Axar Patel (3-33) applied the brakes for India. Glenn Maxwell (6) was run out and then Steve Smith was stumped off Yuzvendra Chahal (1-22).
Australia was down to 84-4 in 9.2 overs. Patel took a splendid return catch to dismiss Matthew Wade (1) cheaply. David then rescued the innings with two fours and four sixes. His fifth T20 half-century and first for Australia came off 25 balls.
He put on 68 runs with Sams (28 not out) as India leaked 63 runs in the last five overs.
It was India’s 21st win in 29 T20s in 2022, the most victories in the format by any team in a calendar year. Pakistan held the previous record with 20 wins in 29 matches in 2021.
“We needed wickets. We cannot beat India by containing their batting. It was a really good series against a world-class side before the T20 World Cup,” Finch said. “It was great for a young player like Cameron Green to have such an impact with his ultra-aggressive approach.”
Before heading to the T20 World Cup, India will host South Africa in a three-match series starting Sept. 28.
Australia will head home to play West Indies and England in five T20s before the World Cup gets underway in Australia on Oct. 16.
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