Dubai– Team India produced a clinical performance with both bat and ball as they thrashed Australia by 9 wickets in their second warm-up game, ahead of the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, here on Wednesday.
Indian bowlers, especially spinners, picked crucial wickets at regular intervals and restricted Australia to 152/5 in 20 overs.
Chasing 153 for victory, openers gave India a brisk start with KL Rahul once again being the aggressor. Against the spinners, Rahul looked at absolute ease as he smashed Agar and Zampa down the ground for two sixes and a four. Rohit, at the other end, was happy to play second fiddle.
Rahul eventually fell to Ashton Agar, trying to clear the boundary once again only to find David Warner in the deep. By the time Rahul was out, Sharma had got his eye in and took over the mettle of run-scoring. He brought up his half-century with a wonderful cut off Marcus Stoinis.
Suryakumar Yadav, who came to bat at Number 3, too got some valuable runs to boost his confidence ahead of India’s Super 12 opener against Pakistan. Both, Rohit and Suryakumar made batting look easy as they hit a flurry of boundaries.
When India needed 26 off 30, Rohit decided to retire himself out to give Hardik Pandya some much-needed game time and it was eventually him who sealed the game with a straight six, with 13 balls remaining.
Earlier in the day, Australia skipper Aaron Finch chose to bat first against the Rohit Sharma-led Indian team. India chose to start with spin at one end and reaped instant rewards as Ashwin sent David Warner and Mitchell Marsh back to the pavilion off consecutive balls.
Ravindra Jadeja scalped Aaron Finch off his first ball after which Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell have steadied the ship as Australia go into the drinks break at 57/3. Just when it looked like Maxwell was getting in the groove, Rahul Chahar got the better of him with the googly.
Steve Smith soon brought up a well-made half-century after smashing Shardul Thakur for three consecutive fours. Stoinis’s unbeaten 25-ball 41 helped Australia post 152/5 at the end of 20.
Brief Scores: Australia 152/5 (Steve Smith 57, Marcus Stoinis 41; Ravichandran Ashwin 2-8) vs India 153/2 (Rohit Sharma 60, KL Rahul 39; Ashton Agar 1-14). (IANS)