Shami, Kohli and Rahul brilliant as India’s warm up match turns into a hot victory

By Kersi Meher-Homji 

Oh, what a feeling as India turns a certain defeat against Australia into a thrilling last ball win! It was a warm up game against the mighty Australians at Brisbane prior to the T20 World Cup but in quality it turned into a suspenseful cliffhanger with the result in doubt till the final ball.

Opener Lokesh Rahul gave India a terrific start scoring 57 runs belting 6 fours and 3 sixes. Then promising batsman Suryakumar Yadav hit 50 with 6 fours and a six as India scored 7 for 186. Fast medium bowler Kane Richardson captured 4 for 30.

The Aussies replied with spectacular vigor as skipper Aaron Finch (76 runs with 7 fours and 3 sixes) and Mitchell Marsh (35 with 4 fours and 2 sixes) added 64 runs off only 34 balls for the opening wicket.

The chase for an Aussie victory was on.

Then it was all Virat Kohli the fielder and Mohammed Shami the bowler who snatched an incredible victory from the home team in the final palpitating over. Kohli took fantastic catches in the deep and ran out Tim David brilliantly.

Now to the final over from Shami, back in the team after recovering from COVID. Australia, 6 for 176, needed only 11 runs to win but lost four wickets for four runs, thanks to Shami bowling yorkers and India won by 6 runs. In one over Shami took 3 for 4. Amazing!

From 6 for 180 Australia lost their last four wickets for no runs for a morale-shattering loss.

Said an ecstatic skipper Rohit Sharma at the presentation, “We batted well, towards the end we could have added 10 to 15 more runs. We wanted to stay till the end, which Suryakumar did. It was a good pitch where you could trust the bounce which our batters did. You have to be smart while playing with big boundaries. Getting them is important but getting singles and twos to accumulate 8 to 9 runs in an over is just a key.

“We have focused on that. We need to improve at the death. We need to change lengths and tactics. Sometimes hitting the deck is a good option. Overall, it was a good game. It was a good pitch and their batting put pressure on us. Bowling Shami at the death was always our plan and you saw what he did.”

Australia meets New Zealand in Sydney on 22nd October at 6pm while India meets Pakistan in Melbourne on 23rd October at 7pm.

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