Recent Match Report – India vs Australia 5th T20I 2023/24

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India 160 for 8 (Iyer 53, Dwarshuis 2-30, Behrendorff 2-38) beat Australia 154 for 8 (McDermott 54, Mukesh 3-32, Bishnoi 2-29) by six runs

Spinners Ravi Bishnoi and Axar Patel relished a turning surface in Bengaluru before left-arm quick Arshdeep Singh bowled a superb final over as India edged Australia to clinch a 4-1 victory in the T20I series.

Australia’s chase of 161 was a see-saw on a surface at Chinnaswamy Stadium playing against type with rain a constant threat. The match was on a knife’s edge with Australia needing ten runs off the final over after a late surge from captain Matthew Wade.

Arshdeep bowled a short delivery on the first ball that flew past Wade, who was livid that it was not called a wide. After another dot delivery, Wade fell on the third ball as Arshdeep iced the game with clutch bowling to seal India’s tense victory.

After being sent in to bat, India recovered from 46 for 3 with Shreyas Iyer top-scoring with 53 from 37 balls.

The fifth and final match was effectively a dead rubber but continued the T20 World Cup preparations for both teams. It also ended Australia’s tour of India highlighted by their triumph at the 2023 ODI World Cup.

Bishnoi and Axar again star

Australia started strongly in reply with opener Travis Head intent on finishing his unforgettable tour of India. He smashed three straight boundaries off Arshdeep to start the innings as Head powered Australia to 40 for 1 after four overs.

It forced India captain Suryakumar Yadav to bring on Bishnoi in the fifth over and he responded by knocking over Head’s off bail. Axar, who was unstoppable in Raipur, came into the attack as the spin duo made it tough for Australia.

Bishnoi picked up Aaron Hardie before Axar claimed his only wicket when he dismissed Tim David in the 14th over. The spinners were done, but quick Mukesh Kumar claimed Ben McDermott and Ben Dwarshuis with consecutive deliveries in a game-changing 17th over.

Wade threatened to lift Australia to a consolation victory before Arshdeep proved his composure under pressure by landing a slew of yorkers in a brilliant final over.

McDermott puts his hand up

Australia have made constant changes throughout this series to give exhausted players a break, but to also test out fringe players with an eye towards next year’s T20 World Cup.

McDermott has been a beneficiary after flying to India in a late call-up for the final two games. He made just 19 in Raipur, but batted superbly in a tough situation to notch up his highest T20I score of 54 from 33 balls.

He top-edged a towering six early in his innings before playing Bishnoi and Axar calmly in the middle overs. He could not guide Australia over the line, but it’s a tonic for him after enduring a tough BBL campaign last season.

McDermott has had little success in T20Is but issued a reminder of his big-hitting abilities.

Iyer rescues stuttering India batting

Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal gave India another quick start, but once again failed to make it out of the powerplay. His dismissal on the last ball of the fourth over triggered a top-order collapse leaving Iyer to rebuild the innings.

He was watchful given the situation, and scored only 12 off 15 balls before launching Dwarshuis for six over mid-off. Iyer found his rhythm and enjoyed support from Axar in a 46-run sixth-wicket partnership.

Iyer smashed seamer Nathan Ellis for a six in the last over to complete a well-timed innings in a bounce back after making just eight runs in his series debut at Raipur.

Sangha finishes on a high

Legspinner Tanveer Sangha can feel justifiably weary having been part of Australia’s white-ball tour of South Africa starting in late August ahead of the World Cup.

Sangha then spent the entire World Cup on the sidelines before finally getting his opportunity and playing every game in this T20I series. It was a baptism of fire on flat surfaces and against a rampaging India batting line-up intent on taking him down.

Sangha entered the game with figures of 4 of 153 from 16 overs, but he bowled superbly during a three-over spell in the middle overs.

He came into the attack at an opportune time after Suryakumar’s wicket and with India stuttering at 46 for 3. Sangha immediately produced drift and spin on a helpful surface to force Rinku Singh into mistiming to mid-on.

Such was his wicket-taking threat that Sangha was armed with a slip fielder and he was unlucky not to add a second wicket when Jason Behrendorff dropped Jitesh Sharma at deep backward square.

Sangha, who turned 22 earlier in the series, has a habit of bowling one or two bad deliveries an over, but he was mostly accurate to finish with an impressive 1 for 26 off four overs.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

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