Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Hardik Pandya celebrates after hitting the winning runs for India.(Getty Images)
India have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match T20I series against Australia with a thrilling six-wicket win in the second match at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Chasing a stiff 195-run target, Hardik Pandya produced a match-winning knock of 42 not out off 22 balls to get India home in the last over.
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Shikhar Dhawan’s half-century and Virat Kohli’s crucial 40 off 24 balls powered India’s chase before both their wickets handed Australia control. But an unbeaten 46-run partnership between Pandya and Shreyas Iyer in quick time turned the tables for India. The equation boiled down to 35 needed off 15 balls before Iyer tonked a six and a four off Adam Zampa.
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In the penultimate over bowled by Andrew Tye, Pandya connected back-to-back boundaries, leaving India 14 to get. A couple of runs later, Pandya smacked two sixes in three balls to trigger celebrations in the Indian dressing room.
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Virat Kohli won the toss and invited Australia to bat. In the absence of Aaron Finch, Matthew Wade set the tone of the innings with a quickfire 58 off 32 balls. Aiding him was Steve Smith, who chipped in with an important 46 off 38 balls. India’s bowlers were expensive but the one who stood out was T Natarajan, finishing with 2/20 with the wickets of D Arcy Short and Moises Henriques.
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