Euro 2020 Special
 

Australia vs India T20I Warm-Up: India Snatch Victory in Dramatic Final Over

A dramatic final over bowled by Mohammed Shami enabled India to snatch victory from the seeming jaws of defeat in their T20I World Cup warm-up match in Brisbane.

Chasing 187 to win, Australia appeared to have things under control at the start of the 19th over, with 16 runs still required and with six wickets in hand, with captain Aaron Finch going well on 76.

But, the penultimate over yielded just five runs and two wickets setting the stage for Shami to step forward taking three wickets in four deliveries, with a run-out thrown into the mix. India in the end were the unlikely winners by 9 runs.

 

Rahul and Yadav star with the bat

Australia won the toss and chose to bowl first.

KL Rahul proved, yet again his critics wrong, and that he is the right man to open for India, making 57 off 33 balls, most of them in the Powerplay overs. His innings contained 3 sixes and six fours, and he easily outshone partner and captain Rohit Sharma, who found scoring relatively hard work.

He made just 15, whilst Virat Kohli, in his first competitive match since landing in Australia, was bounced out for 19.

Suryakumar Yadav was one of the Indian players with no previous experience in Indian conditions, but he showed he is adapting well to the challenge by making a half century of his own before he was caught and bowled by Kane Richardson, the stand-out bowler for his team.  He ended up with figures of 4 – 30.

A brief cameo from Dinesh Karthik, who made 20 off 14 balls, including a six, helped India close on 186/7.

 

Australia start well

With David Warner rested, Australia promoted Mitchell Marsh to open with Finch, and they made a fast start, putting on 64 for the first wicket in less than six overs. Marsh was dismissed for 35, but the home side continued to move the scoreboard along, with first Steve Smith and then Glenn Maxwell, a man whose own World Cup place is up for grabs according to the Australian media, after a string of low scores.

Finch looked like he had the situation in end, until the dramatic finale.

 

Patel’s redemption

Harshal Patel’s first two overs had cost 25 runs, and it was a brave call by his skipper to give him the ball for the penultimate over. But he responded in fine fashion, bowling Finch for 76 and conceding just five runs, whilst Tim David was excellently run out by Kohli, as the momentum began to shift.

 

Shami’s brilliant introduction

Shami had not played a competitive game since July and had been struggling for fitness after contracting Covid which laid him low for several weeks.

However, with the loss through injury of Jasprit Bumrah, his chances of making the starting XI for the tournament had suddenly been elevated and he was one of a trio of fast bowlers, along with Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur, who had flown out to join the rest of the party last week.

Perhaps he was only given the last over because he was still acclimatising, but it proved to be an inspired choice as he produced a series of yorkers.

First he had Pat Cummins expertly caught by Kohli, before next ball, Ashton Agar was run out by Karthik. Josh Inglis was his next victim, bowled for a single and he wrapped up proceedings by bowling Richardson for a duck.

The fast bowler finished with figures of 3 – 4.

Australia had lost their last six wickets for the addition of just 9 runs in the space of 11 balls.

 

Australian concerns

The defeat for the home side was the latest setback for a  team that, just a few weeks ago were favourites to defend the title they won in the UAE last November. Since then, though, they have been on the wrong end of a series defeat to England, and this was a match they really should have won.

They can shrug this off as just a rehearsal for the real thing, but they need to be clinical at the end of an innings and capitalise on their chances when they come along.

Particularly in knock-out cricket, there are no second chances.

 

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