Cricket

Kohli secures a series draw in Sydney

India’s captain Virat Kohli scored a blistering 61 runs to secure a series draw, with a six-wicket win over Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday night.

Australia took on India in the third and final game in the Gillette Twenty20 series in front of 37,000 people at the SCG.

For the first time in this series Australian skipper, Aaron Finch, won the toss and elected to bat first.

Finch made a vital change with fast-bowler Mitchell Starc, who hasn’t played the short form game in two years, replacing fellow quick Jason Behrendorff.

This wasn’t Finch’s only key change, the batting line-up had a shake-up seeing Chris Lynn and Marcus Stoinis moving down the order.

Kohli named an unchanged side from the washout at the MCG clash on Friday night.

Another first for the Aussies was the fact they were 0/28 after the power-play, even though Finch had a shaky start to his  50th Twenty20 International game.

Finch was given a lifeline in the 7th over when he Rohit Sharma dropped a skied ball off the bowling of Krunal Pandya.

The damage wasn’t too great when, in the very next over, the Aussie skipper sent a top-edge straight to Pandya, fielding close on the leg-side.

Pandya found himself on a hat-trick as D’Arcy Short and Ben McDermott both getting trapped LBW in the 9th over while attempting to sweep.

In his four-overs, Pandya ended with figures of 4/37 adding Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey to his list of scalps for the match.

The batting order re-shuffle experiment with Lynn was quite a resounding success when a brilliant run out from Jasprit Bumrah.

Australia’s ended their innings with 6/164, Short top scoring with 33 off 29 balls.

The Indian’s opening pair were in blistering form, scoring 42 runs of 10 balls at one stage, until the re-introduction to Starc into the bowling attack.

Starc convincing his skipper to refer a not-out LBW appeal on Shikhar Dhawan, to great success.

Adam Zampa was able to get through the gate of Sharma, chopping the ball onto his back leg and going on to hit the stumps.

Maxwell was able to make the next breakthrough with the scalp of Lokesh Rahul, opening the door for Alex Tye to take the wicket of Rishabh Pant the very next delivery.

India’s skipper Kohli lead from the front with a sensational 61 runs of 41 balls, ending the match hitting a four to secure a six-wicket win and a series draw.

Pandya was announced as the Player of the Match and Player of the Series went to Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan.

Dhawan praised the Indian support of the crowd.

“I enjoy the support of the fans,” he said

“It’s tremendous to see the Indian support in this stadium.”

Australian skipper Finch told the crowd he thought they played well but it wasn’t quite enough.

“I thought the batters had a good plan but it didn’t quite go to plan,” he said.

“We have a fair bit of work to do but we are heading in the right direction.”

Australia and India will now move their focus to the first of a four test match series, starting at the Adelaide Oval on December 6.

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