Twitter Erupts As Hardik Pandya's Whirlwind Assault Lead India To A Series Win Over Australia

Twitter Erupts As Hardik Pandya’s Whirlwind Assault Lead India To A Series Win Over Australia

Hardik Pandya, India, Australia
Hardik Pandya [Photo-Twitter]

A brilliant counter-attacking knock by Hardik Pandya [42 off 22 balls] has helped Team India to notch up their 10th consecutive T20I win and in the process seal the three-match series against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Chasing 195, India managed just 9 runs in the first two overs as the Australian bowlers got a bit of movement in the air. Andrew Tye trapped Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul on the pads in the 3rd over with fullish length deliveries.

Australia reviewed for Dhawan’s LBW call but to their dismay, the ball was pitched comfortably outside off. They, however, did not do the same when KL Rahul was wrapped on his legs. India got a much-needed opening when Tye overstepped in the same over.

India, Australia
Shikhar Dhawan [Photo-Twitter]
Rahul smoked a six on the free-hit before stroking him for a boundary on the final ball to break the shackles. Rahul and Dhawan took full toll on Glenn Maxwell, who bowled the 4th over, by smashing him for two fours and six.

India, Australia
KL Rahul [Photo-Twitter]
India notched up the 50-run mark in the 5th over as Dhawan stroked a six and Rahul smashed a four to take 13 runs off Sean Abbott.

Andrew Tye provided Australia with a much-needed breakthrough as KL Rahul (30 off 22 balls) mistimed an attempted stroke over the point region to give an easy catch to Mitchell Swepson. India scored 60 runs in the powerplay but the next four overs yielded just 26 runs as Dhawan and Virat Kohli contended with single and doubles barring an odd boundary.

India, Australia
Adam Zampa and Matthew Wade [Photo-Fox Cricket]
Dhawan completed his half-century off 34 balls in the 11th over. Eight runs came off the 11th over of Mitchell Swepson, taking India’s total to 1-94. Adam Zampa once again proved to be India’s nemesis as he claimed the big fish in Shikhar Dhawan, who top-edged one straight to deep square-leg.

Virat Kohli finally broke the shackles after having managed just 11 runs in his first 12 balls with an audacious inside-out six off Adam Zampa and in the process brought up India’s 100. Sanju Samson, who was promoted ahead of Shreyas Iyer, got off to a brilliant start as he smashed Daniel Sams for a ferocious square-cut and a pull over square-leg for a four and a six to take India’s total to 2-118 in 13 overs.

But Mitchell Swepson continued with the good work and brought about the dismissal of Samson in the next over after he pitched the ball short, leading to the batsman, who had danced down the track, not getting the desired elevation on his stroke.

India, Australia
Virat Kohli [Photo-Twitter]
Kohli smashed an audacious pull-stroke for a four before scooping Andrew Tye for a six and a four towards third-man to reduce the equation to 54 off the last 30. Daniel Sams dealt India with a body-blow as he induced an outside off Virat Kohli’s bat by dishing a delivery quite wide of off-stump.

With 37 runs needed off the last 18 balls, it was all down to Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer to guide India home. Shreyas Iyer smashed Adam Zampa for a four and a six in the 18th over to keep India in the hunt. Andrew Tye bowled consecutive dot balls against Hardik Pandya in the penultimate over but the latter retaliated by stroking consecutive boundaries to reduce the equation to 14 off the final over.

And, Pandya finished it off in style by smoking Daniel Sams for two sixes to seal the deal for the Men in Blue.


Australia posted 5-194 thanks to Matthew Wade; T Natarajan spearheaded India’s bowling-unit

Earlier in the day, stand-in skipper Matthew Wade ensured that Australia did not miss the regular openers in David Warner and Aaron Finch.

While D’Archy Short once again perished to T Natarajan, Matthew Wade launched a sustained assault on the Indian bowlers as he registered his 2nd 50+ score (1st one was also against India in 2012) ensuring that Australia made full use of the powerplay by getting to 1-59.

Steve Smith, Justin Langer, Matthew Wade
Matthew Wade [Photo-Twitter]
Wade (58 off 32 balls) also registered the fast T20I fifty for an Australian against India but a comical set of events led to his eventual demise. After lobbing a simple catch to Virat Kohli off the bowling of Washington Sundar at covers, both Wade and Smith were caught ball watching which allowed Kohli, who had spilled an easy catch, to throw the ball to KL Rahul, who affected an easy run-out.

Yuzvendra Chahal (1/51) had an off-day and was taken to the cleaners by both Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell before the latter was eventually dismissed courtesy a brilliant slower ball by Shardul Thakur.

India, Australia
Steve Smith [Photo-Twitter]
T Natarajan was once again the pick of the bowlers for India. He returned to bowl an economical 16th over in which he gave away just 5 runs.

Steve Smith once again looked imperious while batting at the SCG. He smoked two sixes off Yuzvendra Chahal in the next two overs before he eventually holed out at the long-off boundary after Hardik Pandya took a juggling catch.

India, Australia
T Natatajan with his teammates [Photo-Twitter]
T Natarajan returned to dismiss Moises Henriques caught-behind, finishing with figures of 2-20 in 4 overs. Deepak Chahar conceded 17 runs in the last over as Australia finished with 5/194.


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Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.