Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 20-ball 46 helped India clinch a six-wicket victory over visitors Australia in the second T20, which was reduced to eight overs a-side on Friday.
Home skipper Sharma won the toss and chose to field first in Nagpur and was aided by key cameos from Dinesh Karthik, undefeated two-ball 10 and Virat Kohli (11) as India went 92-4 with four balls left in response to Australia’s 90 -5.
Australian leg spinner Adam Zampa took over 3-16 in his impressive streak of two as most of the other bowlers seemed ineffective against Sharma in form.
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Pacer Pat Cummins was the only other wicket taker for the visitors, finishing 1-23.
Matthew Wade’s unbeaten 20-ball 43 propelled Australia to a formidable 90-5 after a wet outfield in the rain-swept city delayed the start and shortened the game.
It was Wade’s second consecutive impressive innings in the series.
On Tuesday, the Australian wicketkeeper hit 21-ball 45 in the first game to help the visitors chase a massive 209-run victory goal.
Visitor captain Aaron Finch finally found form on Friday with a 15-ball 31 before a stunning Jasprit Bumrah dropped him, and the opener could only applaud.
An impressive spell from left-hand spinner Axar Patel put a brake on Australia’s score.
Patel finished 2-13 and was the most impressive bowler for India.
Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah who returned to the team Friday took one wicket for 23 runs.
Sharma, who was also player of the match, said Indian bowlers “used the conditions quite well”.
“You just have to play the situation and use the circumstances to your advantage,” he said.
“It was good to see Bumrah at the park. Slowly and steadily he is getting back into his rhythm,” he added.
Finch said “Rohit was brilliant” and praised Wade as “a quiet customer at the end of the innings” who “did a great job for us”.
The three-game series, a warm-up for the T20 World Cup in Australia next month, will conclude on Sunday in Hyderabad.