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India beat Australia by 27 runs in 2nd T20I, register first bilateral series victory

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India recorded their first ever bilateral series triumph on Australian soil as they clinched the Twenty20 rubber by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead with a comprehensive 27-run victory in the second match, riding on an all-round show here today.

India beat Australia

Put in to bat, India relied on brilliant innings by Rohit Sharma (60) and Virat Kohli (59), along with a useful 42 by opener Shikhar Dhawan, to post a formidable 184/3.

Defending the target, the Indian bowlers put up a fine collective effort to rip through Australia’s middle order and restrict the hosts to 157/8 in 20 overs.

The Indians thus took a 2-0 lead in the three-match series, which ends on Sunday in Sydney. This was India’s first ever bilateral series win Down Under. The Indians had earlier won a tri-series in 2007-08 and the Benson and Hedges World Championship in 1985.

The triumph is a remarkable turnaround for the Indians, who suffered a humiliating 1-4 debacle in the preceding ODI series.

In today’s match as well, it was a turnaround of sorts by the bowlers, who withstood the early onslaught to make good recovery.

Chasing 185, Australia got off to a rollicking start as Shaun Marsh (23) paired up with skipper Aaron Finch (74 runs, 48 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes) at the top.

India opened with Ashish Nehra (0-34) and Jasprit Bumrah (2-37), but instead of rotating the bowlers at the beginning like in Adelaide, the two were persisted with for the first six overs.

And they bled runs as the 50-mark came up for Australia in 31 balls. As soon as the power play got over though, Ravindra Jadeja (2-32) was brought into the attack and things started happening, though not in India’s favour. Mahendra Singh Dhoni missed a regulation stumping of Marsh, while at the other end Finch completed his 6th T20I fifty off just 27 balls, bringing it up with a six off R Ashwin (1-27).

Thereafter, Finch survived thrice, enjoying dropped catches in two overs, one each by Umesh Yadav, Rishi Dhawan and Shikhar Dhawan, in the ninth and 10th overs respectively.

The bowlers continued to suffer and the only bright spark was when Hardik Pandya finally caught Marsh at long on.

It was also perhaps the turning point. The all-rounder removed Chris Lynn (2) in the next over, caught behind. Yuvraj Singh (1-7) had Glenn Maxwell (1) stumped in the 12th over, Dhoni not missing this time.

While the 100-mark came up for Australia, Shane Watson (15) looked like staying at the wicket and giving support to Finch, who continued hitting big as he was suffering from a hamstring problem.

The duo added 20 runs and were looking to calm things down. But Jadeja took a stunning reflex return catch off Watson in the 15th over.

And the match swung in India’s favour finally when Finch was run out off a superb throw from Jadeja again at extra cover, finding the Australian skipper just short as Dhoni disturbed the bails.

It was an uphill task thereafter, with 61 runs still needed, and wickets continuing to fall at regular intervals.

Jadeja was again in the mix, with James Faulkner (10) stumped in the 17th over, and the equation stood at an improbable 40 off the last 12 balls.

The 150-mark came up in the 19th over, but the hosts finished well short of the target once again.

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