Rohit Sharma showed his six-hitting prowess with an unbeaten 46 after Axar Patel broke two wickets in a fiery spell as India took a series-level six-wicket win over Australia in a rainy second T20I in Nagpur on Friday. The Indian skipper hit four sixes and as many fours as he single-handedly helped India chase a 91 goal with four balls left in a match that was reduced to eight overs per side due to a wet outfield. Previously, Matthew Wade hit an unbeaten 20-ball 43 to blast Australia to a 90 for five.
Wade hit four boundaries and three towering sixes – all in the final off Harshal Patel (0/32) – while skipper Aaron Finch hit 31 out of 15 after Rohit invited Australia to bat in a match that was delayed by two-and-a-half hours.
Rohit chased the target and made his intent clear as he struck out a six-hit spree and unleashed three monstrous hits on Josh Hazlewood in the opening to jump-start the India chase.
The India opener then deposited the slower delivery of Pat Cummins (1/23 in 2 overs) in the stands before Adam Zampa (3/16 in 2 overs) was lifted over the long distance for another maximum.
But the spinner came back to disrupt the stumps of KL Rahul (10), who was looking for a slog sweep.
Virat Kohli (11) then grabbed a border from Daniel Sams, before hitting one over Zampa’s head for another four.
However, the spinner won the battle of wits as his faster delivery defeated the Indian and dislocated the stumps.
Zampa dealt a double blow when he caught Suryakumar Yadav (0) in the next ball and India dropped to 55 for 3 in 4.3 overs.
Unfazed by the fall of wickets, Rohit continued to go strong as he broke one over cover and then walked a short penalty when Sean Abbott gave up 11 runs.
Hardik Pandya scored a four off Cummins, but he couldn’t stay long as he skipped a hole to Finch in the seventh.
Designated finisher Dinesh Karthik then played his part to perfection, finishing off the remaining runs with a six and a four on Sams.
Previously, Australia looked to put on a show for the packed crowd at the VCA stadium, but Axar Patel (2/13 in 2 overs) snapped two wickets in an impressive spell to leave them at 31 for 3.
Jasprit Bumrah (1/23 in 2 overs), who has been out of action since the end of the England tour due to a back injury, produced a sensational Yorker to get rid of the dangerous Finch during his spell.
However, Wade made sure that the visitors closed things on a bright note as he added 44 runs in the last 18 balls along with Steve Smith (8).
Harshal had another night to remember as he allowed 32 without a wicket in his two overs.
The two teams will now move to Hyderabad for the series-defining third T20I on Sunday.
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