Henriques helps Australia level series

Moises Henriques hammered an unbeaten 46-ball 62 to help Australia recover from early jolts to beat India by eight wickets with 27 balls spare in the second T20I here at the ACA Barsapara Stadium on Tuesday.

Moises Henriques on way to his half-century at the Barsapara Stadium on Tuesday.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Moises Henriques hammered an unbeaten 46-ball 62 to help Australia recover from early jolts to beat India by eight wickets with 27 balls spare in the second T20I here at the ACA Barsapara Stadium on Tuesday.

Henriques and Travis Head shared an unbeaten 109-run stand for the third wicket to ensure the lifeline that gave Australia the much-needed victory and the reason to hope for a series win in the last match scheduled at Hyderabad on Friday.

The Australian batting performance came as a compliment to a disciplined show by its bowlers that held India to a modest total of 118.

Henriques was the wrecker-in-chief for the visiting side as he weathered the Indian pace attack before taking apart the spinners, especially Kuldeep Yadav who received the most of the punishment. After a match-winning performance at Ranchi, Yadav failed to reproduce his form while finishing with poor figures of 4-0-46-0.

Detailed scorecard and ball-by-ball details

India started well when Jasprit Bumrah got the Australian captain David Warner (2) in the second over of the match. Warner went for a pull and failed to connect properly as Bumrah fired a shot ball angled across his body. Indian captain Virat Kohli took the catch in the cover region as the host went into wild celebrations. Bhuvneshwar Kumar found his swing bowling coming to good effect as he got the other Australian opener Aaron Finch (8) in the third over. Kohli took the catch again as India sniffed a possible win. 

But Henriques, who was promoted over Glenn Maxwell, slammed four delectable sixes and as many number of boundaries to take the wind out of India’s sail. Head gave his senior partner able company with an unbeaten 48 (34b, 5x4, 1x6) to help Australia overhaul the target easily.

Earlier, Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya provided some resistance with the bat to haul India out of a collapse as Jaso Behrendorff led a successful assault for Australian bowling. Hosting the first international match on a newly laid track, the newly facility of cricket in the Assam capital offered the towering Behrendorff enough reason to feel confident as he found his pace and control ratting the Indian batting order. Rohit Sharma (8) started with two boundaries in the first three balls of the innings but paid the price of making lethargic feet movement on a length ball from Behrendorff that cut slightly to catch the Indian off guard.

Before India could recover from the loss of Sharma, off went its highly prolific captain Virat Kohli for a duck. Repeating almost the delivery that claimed Sharma, Behrendorff caught Kohli by surprise as the Indian captain, trying flick across the line, found an inside edge and the ball lobbed up after hitting his thigh pad to give the bowler an easy caught-and-bowled chance. Behrendorff had inflicted the required damage in his opening over from which India failed to recover.

Kohli’s wicket came as a costly loss as India drifted into further crisis losing Manish Pandey in the third over, the second bowled by Behrendorff. The Australian left-arm pacer came up with another fine delivery that moved away and took the outside edge of Pandey, who played a nudge away from the body and perished in the process.

Continuing which his fantastic spell, Behrendorff got the other Indian opener, Shikhar Dhawan, in his third over and the fifth of the Australian innings. Trying to break out of the dragnet, Dhawan chipped the ball over the in-field just to see the rival captain David Warner running back a few paces from the inside circle to complete a fantastic catch. Behrendorff completed his quota of four overs claiming four wickets while giving away just 21 runs. This virtually ended India’s hope of constructing a big total.

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