India Whitewash Australia; a last ball thriller to claim T20 series 3-0
India completed a clean sweep of their Twenty20 series against Australia after claiming a thrilling last-ball win at the SCG on Sunday. The visitors chased down Australia’s mammoth target of 198 to complete a 3-0 whitewash and give them a massive confidence boost just over a month out from the World Cup.
Rohit Sharma (52 off 38 balls) and Virat Kohli (50 off 36) scored half centuries while Suresh Raina was outstanding at the death as the Indians posted an unlikely seven-wicket win. Needing 17 off the last over, Raina (49 off 25) and Yuvraj Singh (15 off 12) guided them over the line.
After a record-breaking unbeaten century from stand-in skipper Shane Watson (124 off 71), the Australians set a formidable 5-197 but the Indians put on a superb run chase. The Indians flew out of the blocks, with Shikhar Dhawan (26 off 8) punishing a wayward Shaun before Watson struck with his second ball to remove the dangerous opener.
Sharma and Kohli continued the onslaught, putting on 78 runs for the second wicket. Sharma was removed by legspinner Cameron Boyce with the visitors strongly placed at 2-124.
Kohli reached his 50 before being removed in unusual circumstances four balls later when Boyce collected a bottom edge and it rolled onto the stumps.
After Kohli's exit Raina and Yuvraj Singh pottered around for a time. As MS Dhoni had done during the 50-over match on this ground a little over a week ago, they allowed the equation to stretch out while finding their bearings, and Tye was left to defend 17 from the final over.
As though rousing from a deep sleep, Yuvraj pounced on Tye's first two balls, flicking over backward square leg to the fence then pounding a six into the heaving crowd at midwicket. That rather simplified the equation for India, and a pair of hustled twos by Raina were followed by an exultant last ball boundary that completed India's clean sweep.
Do you think this puts India as a strong favourites to win the ICC World T20 2016, held in about a month’s time in India?