Behrendorff, Henriques & Head Help Australia Thrash India by 8 Wickets and Level Series
Guwahati: The first international match at the Barsapara stadium ended in disappointment for the home supporters as Australia thrashed India by 8 wickets to not just level the series at 1-1 but also ended their seven-match losing streak in T20 internationals against the ‘Men in Blue’.The toss was going to be crucial on a pitch which had some bite for the bowlers and David Warner had no hesitation in deciding to field first and that came as a huge shot in the arm for the visitors as left-arm paceman Jason Behrendorff’s inspired spell, which produced four wickets, helped the Aussies bundle India out for 118.
Chasing the smallish target, Australia lost early wickets as Jasprit Bumrah sent back stand-in captain David Warner for just 2 runs in the second over. Bumrah bowled a sharp delivery around the off stump that got big on Warner who was trying to pull it on the on side. The southpaw got a leading edge, which was caught by Virat Kohli in the covers.
The visitors were in serious trouble when Aaron Finch hit one straight to Kohli in the covers, off Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s as the Aussies were down to 13/2. That brought the duo of Moises Henriques and Travis Head in the middle and the duo began a repair job.
They played the two pacers cautiously and ensured no more wickets fell in the powerplay overs. The duo came into their own once the spinners were introduced as they came down hard on the left-arm wrist spin of Kuldeep Yadav.
Henriques and Head launched a measured attack on the spin duo of Kuldeep and Chahal and also didn’t allow first change bowler Hardik Pandya to settle down. The duo put on an unbeaten partnership of 109 runs to guide Australia to an easy eight-wicket win.
Henriques hit the winning boundary and remained unbeaten on 62 while the left-handed Head brought up his highest T20 international score as he remained unbeaten on 48.
Earlier, India started positively with Rohit Sharma hitting Jason Behrendorff for two boundaries off the first three deliveries of the first over. The left-arm paceman then bowled the perfect in-coming delivery to trap Rohit in front of the wicket for just 8 runs.
He then delivered the telling blow by sending back Indian skipper Virat Kohli for a duck. Kohli got an inside edge to an incoming delivery and the ball ricocheted off his thigh guard into the bowler’s hand.
Behrendorff removed Manish Pandey (6) and Shikhar Dhawan (2) in quick succession too as the Indians were left reeling at 27/4 in the fifth over. Kedar Jadhav though continued to play in his attacking style and hit a few boundaries.
Jadhav and Dhoni put together a 33-run fifth wicket stand before Adam Zampa dismissed Dhoni. It was a classic leg-spinner’s dismissal as Zampa drew Dhoni out of his crease with a looping delivery. Dhoni missed and wicket-keeper Tim Paine did the rest.
Zampa struck another blow when Jadhav missed his wrong one and was castled for 27. Hardik Pandya (25) put together a partnership with Kuldeep Yadav to give India’s total some respectability.
First Published: October 10, 2017, 10:48 PM IST