Rohit Sharma leads from front as India level series against Australia


India's Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the 2nd T20I match between India and Australia, at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on Friday | Photo: ANI Photo

Nagpur (Maharashtra): Rohit Sharma's unbeaten 46 of 20 balls helped India chase a massive 91-run target to level the series 1-1 in the second T20I in Nagpur here at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium in Nagpur which was impacted by rain.

Chasing a mammoth 91-run target, India needed a flying start as skipper Rohit Sharma led from the front to take the attack to the opposition scoring 20 runs in the opening over. He hit two sixes and his fellow opener KL Rahul hit a six over midwicket off Josh Hazlewood. The match was reduced to eight overs as the pitch was affected by rain.

Rohit Sharma looked unstoppable hitting 10 runs to Pat Cummins in the second over of India's innings.

Australia then introduced Adam Zampa into the attack and he cleaned up opener KL Rahul for 10. Virat Kohli then joined Rohit Sharma to take India's total beyond the 50-run mark in the fourth over.

Zampa then came in the fifth over to clean up Kohli for 11. In the very next ball, he got the dangerous batter Suryakumar Yadav for a golden duck as he trapped him leg before wicket.

India needed a partnership and Hardik Pandya walked in to give company to his skipper. The duo batted brilliantly and the equation became 23 runs of the last 12 balls.

Cummins brought Australia back into the game as he sent Hardik caught by Finch. In-form Pandya got out cheaply for 9. But captain Rohit ensured that India needed only 10 runs from the last over.

Dinesh Karthik went on to hit one six and one four of the first two balls to wrap up the match with four balls to spare and that helped the hosts wrap up the match in just 7.2 overs registering a six-wicket win.

Earlier in the day, put into bat Australia got off to a decent start scoring 10 runs off the first over. Axar Patel was introduced into the attack in the second over of the match and in his over India got the breakthrough as Virat Kohli ran out opener Cameron Green. Just two balls later left-arm spinner got the prized scalp of dangerous Glenn Maxwell for a golden duck.

Yuzvendra Chahal was introduced in the third over but he went for 13 runs. Axar struck for the second time in the fourth over as he dismissed Tim David for 2 as he cleaned him up.

In the next over comeback bowler, Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Australian captain Aaron Finch for 31 off just 15 balls. Matthew Wade and Steve Smith then got a partnership and took the Australia's total beyond the 50-run mark in the sixth over.

The Wade-Smith duo batted brilliantly and scored 19 runs in the eighth over as Australia piled up a mammoth 90/5 in 8 overs setting hosts a gigantic 91-run target.

The third match and the series decider will be played at Hyderabad.

Brief scores: Australia 90/5 in 8 overs (Matthew Wade 43*, Aaron Finch 31; Axar Patel 2/13) vs India 91/4 (Rohit Sharma 46*; Adam Zampa 3/16).

(ANI)

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