Half-centuries from the Indian top-order led by Yashasvi Jaiswal (53, 25b, 9x4, 2x6), followed by a brilliant spell from the spinners, helped the Men in Blue beat Australia by 44 runs in the second T20I match and take a 2-0 lead at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.
Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad (58), and Ishan Kishan (52) laid the platform before Rinku Singh’s sensational unbeaten 31 off nine balls powered India to 235 for four after being asked to bat first.
Despite heavy dew, leggie Ravi Bishnoi (3 for 32) and left-arm spinner Axar Patel (1 for 25) applied the squeeze, taking three wickets in the PowerPlay.
Bishnoi accounted for Matthew Short and Josh Inglis in his first two overs, while Axar got the better of Glenn Maxwell, reducing the Aussies to 53 for three by the sixth over.
Marcus Stonis (45) and Tim David (37) gave India a scare by going after pacers Arshdeep Singh and Mukesh Kumar during their 81-run partnership off 38 balls for the fifth wicket.
Stoinis started by hitting Bishnoi for two sixes down the ground and then smashed Arshdeep all over the park, while David plundered 18 off Mukesh. But Bishnoi returned strongly to remove David, caught in the deep. In the next over, Mukesh had Stoinis caught at long-on to effectively seal the game for the home team.
Earlier, Jaiswal unleashed his willow like a sword, cutting the pacers with precision through the off-side, going after Sean Abbott. The bowler was guilty of bowling short, and the left-hander cut the first three deliveries for boundaries through the off-side and then pulled the next two over the leg-side for sixes to pocket 24 runs in the fourth over.
Jaiswal meted out similar treatment to Nathan Ellis, hitting a hat-trick of boundaries in the sixth over to reach his half-century off just 24 balls as India got 77 in the PowerPlay.
Australia pulled things back in the middle-phase, sending in a few quiet overs as Gaikwad (58, 43b, 3x4, 2x6) and Ishan Kishan (52, 32b, 3x4, 4x6) struggled with timing against Tanveer Sangha and Adam Zampa, scoring only one boundary in the five overs after the PowerPlay.
Kishan finally cut loose against Maxwell, lofting the off-spinner down the ground for a six, followed by a boundary. The 25-year-old then swept Sangha for two sixes over the leg-side, as he did in the first match, to reach his second half-century of the series in style.
Rinku continued to burnish his reputation as a finisher when he went after Abbott. He hit the pacer for 24 runs in the 19th over with three boundaries and two sixes to take the host past 200, which proved more than enough.
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