Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Left-arm seamer Jason Behrendorff took a career-best four wickets as Australia demolished India by eight wickets in the second Twenty20 International in Guwahati.
Behrendorff was well supported by all-rounder Moises Henriques, who smashed a career-best 62 not out and helped Australia level the series at 1-1 after they lost the first match by nine wickets via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.
Choosing to bowl first, Australia were all over India early on as Behrendorff took out Rohit Sharma and captain Virat Kohli in the first over of the match.
He then had Manish Pandey caught behind for six runs before Shikhar Dhawan became his fourth victim when he was brilliantly caught by stand-in captain David Warner.
With India in all sorts of trouble at 27/4, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav temporarily kept Australia at bay with a 33-run partnership before Dhoni was stumped by Tim Paine off the bowling of Adam Zampa for 13.
Jadhav went on to make 27 off 27 balls, which included three boundaries and a six, before he was clean bowled by Zampa.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar fell shortly after, but Hardik Pandya struck a 23-ball 25 before he was dismissed by Marcus Stoinis.
Jasprit Bumrah only muster seven runs, but Kuldeep Yadav made a useful 16 to help India reach 118 before they were bowled out.
Behrendorff was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Zampa snapped up two, and Stoinis, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Andrew Tye chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 119 to win, Australia got off to an awful start as Warner was caught by Kohli at cover off the bowling of Bumrah for two runs on the ninth ball of the innings.
The very next over, Aaron Finch, who made eight runs, was walking back to the pavilion as he suffered the same fate as Warner, but only off the bowling of Kumar.
However, that was to be India’s last taste of success for the remainder of the match as Henriques and Travis Head amassed an unbeaten 109-run partnership to lead Australia to victory with 27 balls to spare.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Henriques ended up making 62 off 46 balls, which included four boundaries and four sixes, while Head remained undefeated on 48 off 34 deliveries, which included five boundaries and a six.
Bumrah and Kumar claimed one wicket each.
Kohli was less than impressed with his side’s performance, and said: “Not the performance we wished for. Australia were much better on the day. I don’t think we were good enough with the bat. The wicket was sticking to start. It was difficult for them as well, but after the dew set in, they got away. The effort is to do that as a team, but we speak about when the situations are not in our favour is when we have to put 120% on the field.
“It’s the attitude that matters most and it’s something the team embraces. The ball to Rohit [from Behrendorff] was pretty good. He bowled in good areas, he was pretty tight, credit to him, getting wickets with the new ball and they built on that very well.”
Warner was thrilled to have levelled the series at 1-1, and said: “Feels great. As I said at the toss, we had to bowl well and start well. And Dorff bowling there, taking four for in his first real spell. Really fantastic. He’s got the height, the bounce and the swing. He’s from Perth. He was really fantastic.
“Zampa did well later as well, his execution was spot on. Henriques, he showed his experience. I’ve used him in this role in the IPL as well. It looked an English wicket, soft and with moisture. We knew if we could get past the new ball we could do well.”