Rinku, spinners help India beat Australia to clinch T20 series - GulfToday

Rinku, spinners help India beat Australia to clinch T20 series


Rinku Singh (C) is greeted by Australia's Chris Green at the end of the fourth T20 match at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh Cricket Stadium in Raipur on Friday. AFP

Rinku Singh’s quick-fire 46 and a spin attack led by Axar Patel helped India to a series-clinching 20-run win over Australia in the fourth Twenty20 international on Friday.

India posted 174-9 thanks to Rinku’s 29-ball blitz, despite late strikes by the Australian fast bowlers after the tourists elected to field first in Raipur.

Axar then returned figures of 3-16 with his left-arm spin as the hosts kept down Australia to 154-7 to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

“Other than (the) toss, everything went our way,” India’s Suryakumar Yadav said of the victory in his first series as captain.

“Winning was the big boost, especially the way the boys showed character. Everyone expressed themselves irrespective of the situation, and that’s what I told them: be fearless, play your game and we’ll see what happens.”

Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi struck on his first delivery as he bowled Josh Philippe, for eight, and finished with figures of 1-17. Axar struck in his first over to claim opener Travis Head’s wicket, after his 16-ball 31 had given the tourists a quick start.

After derailing the opposition’s chase, the Indian spinner kept up his strikes and sent Ben McDermott and Aaron Hardie back to the pavilion.

Tim David attempted to hit back but fast bowler Deepak Chahar took the batsman down, getting him caught in the deep on 19.

Chahar claimed another victim in Matthew Short on 22 as the wheels came off the chase, before skipper Matthew Wade hit a valiant 36 not out.

“We want to continue to learn about the players under the established players since the (T20) World Cup is around the corner, so depth around the squad will be key,” said Wade.

Earlier, a late charge by Rinku, who blasted a 29-ball 46, and Jitesh Sharma, who hammered a 19-ball 35, helped India recover from a mid-innings collapse and scamper to 174/9 in 20 overs.

Rinku and Jitesh raised 56 runs for the fifth wicket before India lost a few wickets towards the end of the innings and managed only 174.

After Australia skipper Wade won the toss and inserted India in to bat first, the hosts raised 50 runs in the sixth over with openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad going great guns at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium here.

In a stadium that was reportedly facing power problems because of allegedly unpair electricity bills, Jaiswal struck six fours and a six in his 28-ball 37 before pacer Aaron Hardie extracted extra bounce with a cross-seam short delivery outside off to have the Indian batter pulling to Ben McDermott, running in from mid-on.

India lost two quick wickets as Shreyas Iyer (8) and Suryakumar (1) departed, falling victim to Tanveer Sangha and Ben Dwarshuis respectively.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, who struck 32 off 28 balls hitting three fours and a six, was caught by Dwarshuis off Sangha as he attempted to go big over extra cover but edged it to short third man.

India were reduced to 111/4 in the 14th over before Rinku and Jitesh Sharma came together to raise a quick-fire half-century that propped up the Indian innings. Rinku slammed four boundaries and two maximums while Jitesh struck four and three sixes as they propelled India to 167 before the wicketkeeper batter was out, caught by Travis Head off Dwarshuis.

Trying to raise as many runs as possible, India lost five wickets in the last two overs starting from the fourth ball of the 19th over. Jitesh Sharma (18.4), Axar Patel (18.5) and Rinku Singh (19.1) got out over three consecutive balls spread across two overs while Deepak Chahar (19.3) and Ravi Bishnoi (19.6) also fell in the final over.

For Australia, Ben Dwarshuis claimed 3-40 while Jason Behrendorff (2-32) and Tanveer Sangha (2-30) claimed a couple of wickets apiece.

Australia were without their ODI World Cup stars, including Glenn Maxwell, who hit a match-winning 104 not out in match three, and Marcus Stoinis.

Head remains the only player from the World Cup-winning team in the Australian side. The final T20 is on Sunday in Bengaluru.




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