India beat Australia in the third and final T20I by 6 wickets and two balls to spare at the Sydney Cricket Ground today. With one eye on the weather, Virat Kohli led his side to yet another strong performance and defended the streak of seven successive series wins on the trot.
Chasing a target of 165, India were helped by a solid opening stand by its openers. A scintillating display of batting by Rohit and Dhawan took India to 67/1 in 5.3 overs with 4 6s and 6 4s.
After the dismissal of both the openers, India lost the way. K L Rahul falling behind the tempo, played another scratchy innings. Rishab Pant was dismissed first ball. Dinesh Kartik (22*) and the skipper Kohli (61*) , his 19th fifty-plus score in T20Is, then stitched together the winning 5th wicket partnership. Kohli as always hungry for runs and Kartik as always playing a patient innings right to make a strong statement for the finisher’s role. They saved the day for India.
Earlier, Australia signed their innings off on a high after Krunal Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav had choked the run-flow during the middle overs. A solid 68-run opening stand set the tone as Finch (28) and Short (33) batted positively. They were then bolstered by Stoinis and Coulter-Nile’s unbeaten 7th wicket stand towards the end. 35 brisk runs came off the last three overs.
In 2016, India had won handsomely the T20I series 3-0 vs Australia. But in 2018, Team India has no answer to rain and D/L which have simply reversed the scenario in favor of the Aussies. (See: India V Australia Rainy Start)
Brief scores: Australia 164/6 in 20 overs || India 168/4 in 19.4 overs.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Krunal Pandya
PLAYER OF THE SERIES: Shikhar Dhawan