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Virat Kohli scored 85 but Australia beat a spirited Indian side by 12 runs in the third and final T20I of the series in Sydney on Tuesday. India though clinched the T20I series 2-1.
Needing 187 runs to win, India lost KL Rahul in the first over as Glenn Maxwell struck. Virat Kohli, who replaced Rahul in the middle, got a life in the third over and then the Indian skipper cut loose as he and Shikhar Dhawan took India to 51/1 after the end of the powerplay.
The pair added 23 runs more before their 74-run stand was broken after Mitchell Swepson got Dhawan out for 28 in the ninth over.
While Kohli completed a 41-ball fifty in the 12th over, Swepson’s two-wicket over saw Sanju Samson and Shreyas Iyer return to the dressing room at the end of the 13th over.
Kohli and Hardik Pandya scored 11 runs in the next two overs as India moved to 111/4.
Kohli then creamed Daniel Sams for two sixes while Hardik clubbed one as India scored 20 runs in the 16th over to bring down the target to 56 runs from the last four overs. Hardik then hit a four and a six off Tye in the 17th over.
However, Adam Zampa dismissed Hardik in the 18th over and Tye had Kohli caught in the penultimate over for 85. While Shardul Thakur tonked a few sixes, Australia won the match by 12 runs.
Earlier, India, who elected to bowl, remained unchanged while Aaron Finch, who replaced Marcus Stoinis in the playing XI, returned to lead Australia.
India did not have to wait for too long to get their first wicket as Washington Sundar struck in his first over to dismiss Finch. Matthew Wade continued his good run of form as he guided Australia to 51/1 at the end of the powerplay.
Wade and Steve Smith, who had joined the left-hander in the middle following Finch’s fall, added 65 runs together. But the partnership was broken in the 10th over as Washington Sundar picked his second wicket of the match getting Smith out for 24.
Wade brought up his fifty in the 11th over before he and Glenn Maxwell took Australia past hundred in the 12th over. Maxwell got a life in the next over even as KL Rahul held on to a catch as Yuzvendra Chahal overstepped. Maxwell went after the Indian leg-spinner in the 15th over, creaming two sixes as Australia moved to 139/2.
Maxwell brought up his fifty in the 18th over as Australia inched closer to the 170-run mark. India broke the 90-run stand between Maxwell and Wade as Shardul Thakur trapped Wade before the wickets after the Australian wicketkeeper-batsman scored 80.
T Natarajan then got Maxwell out in the final over before Australia ended their quota of 20 overs, posting 186/5 on the board.
Brief Scores: Australia 186/5 (Matthew Wade 80, Glenn Maxwell 54; Washington Sundar 2/34) beat India 174/7 (Virat Kohli 85, Shikhar Dhawan 28; Mitchell Swepson 3/23) by 12 runs