Australia chased down 209 on a flat pitch in Mohali to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after Cameron Green blitzed a 26-ball half-century in his first innings as an opener in professional cricket. Matthew Wade provided the winning run.
During his 30-ball 61, Green unleashed a few slog-sweeps a la Mitchell Marsh to set up Australia’s challenging chase. Wade accelerated in the final overs to ice the chase, with four balls and four wickets to spare. Axar Patel then applied the breaks on Australia with figures of 3 for 17 in his four overs. He was the only bowler to go at under seven an over on the day.
In T20I cricket, it was Australia’s second-highest successful chase. They made the Jasprit Bumrah-less India pay as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel finished with combined figures of 8-0-101-0 for their poor fielding (they missed at least three opportunities) and death bowling.
India maintains their offensive strategy
Although India continued to attack through KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, and Hardik Pandya despite the early losses of both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. While Adam Zampa, a legspinner, was bowling nine balls, Suryakumar picked off 22 runs, matching the pace of Josh Hazlewood and Green.
Rahul continued to bat, reaching his half-century off 32 balls in the 11th over, but Hazlewood removed him in the following over.
At the conclusion of the 19th over, he had reached his own fifty off 25 balls. With only No. 8 Harshal by his side, he farmed the strike in the final over to end the innings with 6, 6, 6.
For the last over, Aaron Finch took a chance with Green, and the all-arounder ultimately gave up 21. With his pace and length variations, Nathan Ellis, who recently finished a stint with London Sprit in the Hundred, was more impressive. In his four overs, he returned 3 for 30, including the crucial dismissals of Kohli and Dinesh Karthik.
Green demonstrates his versatility with the bat Green might not have even entered the game had Marsh or Marcus Stoinis been healthy, but he took advantage of his chance, giving Australia the explosive start they required. He scored four runs off of his first four balls, all of which came from Umesh Yadav, with the third showing off his potency. Umesh slowed down his delivery and bowled a slower legcutter, but Green picked up the pace on his own and flat-batted the ball back with such force that it sped past the bowler’s hands and into the straight boundary. Yuzvendra Chahal was taken for 21 off just eight balls by Green, who was also effective against spin.
When Axar dropped him at deep midwicket, Green gained another life and was on 42. Before Axar caught him with the ball, he added 19 to his total.
The final act
After Green was out, Australia lost three wickets for 14 runs in 12 balls, which caused a stutter. When Axar bowled Josh Inglis, Australia still needed 64 runs off 35 balls. Wade by himself scored 45 runs off just 29 balls to expose India’s death bowling, evoking memories of his valiant performance against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup semifinals last year in the United Arab Emirates.
Tim David received his first Australia cap at one point, and it appeared that Wade would use David to end the match.