India could not inflict a whitewash on Australia as the hosts beat the Men in Blue by runs in the third and final T20I at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The three-match series has ended 2-1 in India’s favour.
Chasing 187, the visitors finished their innings on 174 for 7 despite skipper Virat Kohli playing a fine knock of 85. The game was set for a thrilling finish when India needed 43 runs from the last over with Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya in the middle.
However, Adam Zampa sent back Pandya on the first ball of 18th over before Andrew Tye accounted for the India skipper on the first ball of 19th to seal the game. For Australia, Mitchell Swepson was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3 for 23 off his four overs.
Earlier, Australia rode on fifties from Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell to post a big total of 186 for 5 after Virat Kohli won the toss and invited the hosts to bat first. Wade top-scored for the hosts, scoring 80 off off 53 balls. His knock was studded with seven fours and a couple of sixes.
Maxwell also continued his fine form with the bat by scoring another fifty. The right-handed batsman scored 54 off 36 balls with the help three fours and as many sixes. For India, Washington Sundar was the pick of the bowlers, taking 2 for 34 off his four overs. T Natarajan and Shardul Thakur picked one wicket each.
Here’s what Virat Kohli said after the match:
Speaking at the end of the game, Virat Kohli said the team was hopeful of pulling off the win after Pandya’s strong start before saying that the failure to do well in the middle overs cost the team the game. He also expressed his delight over ending the year with a series win.
“At one stage when Hardik started going we thought we could pull it off. The middle over phase during our batting cost us the game. A partnership of 30-odd would’ve made it easier for Hardik. We are finding ways to come back and give the opposition a scare and the series win is a little asterisk for us to finish the 2020 season on a high,” said Virat Kohli.
The 32-year old further praised the crowd for motivating the players before speaking about the upcoming four-match Test series. The skipper also declined to confirm whether he would play the second tour game, starting on December 11.
“I feel the crowd was a factor as well, it’s always giving you a dimension of motivation. Our crowd pulls us through sometimes, and Australia’s too, and we as players feed off the crowd’s energy.
“We need to take the same competitive attitude into the Tests, and having played here a few times, we can score runs as well. Once it’s time to capitalize and score, we need to do that session by session. I’m sure the current side is stronger than last time (Test matches) and I’ll see if I can play the tour match,” he said.