An astonishing display of fast bowling from the duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Navdeep Saini, coupled with aggressive batting from the top-order, propelled India to a thwarting seven-wicket win over the Aussies. Bumrah and Saini remarkably accounted for nine of the ten Aussie wickets to fall.
After being put in to bat, the Aussies were tested by some immaculate bowling from the duo of Bumrah and Saini, and it didn’t take long for the Kangaroos to crack, as Warner departed in just the third over. A double-strike from Bumrah left the Aussies reeling at 27/3, but a fine 84-run stand between Finch and Marsh - both of whom scored fifties - restoring sanity and batted the Aussies into a position of safety. And despite soon batting themselves into a position of strength, a flurry of wickets towards the end - 6 wickets in 2 overs, to be precise - meant that the Kangaroos were knocked over for 152.
Defending 153, as has always been the case over the past decade, the Australian pacers were once again caught in the crossfire of Rohit Sharma, who alongside KL Rahul, blunted the Australian bowlers from the word go. Rohit and Rahul put on an 83-run stand for the first wicket and post their departure in back-to-back overs, Shreyas Iyer and skipper Kohli took charge as the right-handed duo pummeled the Kangaroos in the middle overs to kill off the chase in no time. Eventually, Iyer perished, but a 16-ball 38 from Kohli ensured that India strolled to a convincing seven-wicket win.
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While the collapse in the powerplay was a body blow for Australia, eventually, the implosion towards the end is what ended up costing them the game. At 138/4 after 18 overs, with both Marsh and Carey going strong, Australia should ideally have posted a score close to 165, but the dismal collapse - where they lost six wickets for just 12 runs - completely ended up turning the tide around in India’s favour.
Highs and Lows
Bumrah and Saini’s astonishing show with the ball was the undoubted high of the match. In what was an exhibition of fast bowling - both upfront and at the death - the duo accounted for NINE of the TEN Aussie wickets and terrorized them throughout the course of the innings. Certainly a ‘one of a kind’ performance.
This might just be the first instance of two players finding their name in both the highs and the lows. While Saini and Bumrah did account for 9 wickets, together, they flabbergastingly bowled THIRTEEN wides to almost undo their inhuman effort themselves. Not only did they err with their discipline up front with the new ball, but at the death, too, the duo bowled seven wides to gift the Aussies one run too many. An uncharacteristic display, to say the least.
Powerplay exploitation: - Australia 3/10 and India 8/10
The Aussies had a nightmare-ish start to their innings and had to face the wrath of both Jasprit Bumrah and Navdeep Saini, both of whom looked determined to choke the Kangaroos early on. The duo remarkably bowled 15 dots in the first four overs and it wasn’t until the 26th ball that the Aussies hit their first boundary. It came to a point where Australia just needed the powerplay to end, as after losing Warner in the third over, they lost both Smith and Maxwell in back-to-back deliveries in the sixth to finish the powerplay at 35/3.
The Rahul-Rohit show started in the second over of the chase for the Men in Blue and from that moment, the Aussie bowlers were subject to some serious punishment from the blade of the two right-handers for the three overs that followed. The Aussies did tighten the screws towards the end thanks to Starc and Richardson, but 44 for the loss of no wickets meant that India were in prime position to chase down what looked like a below-par score.
Middle overs Manoeuvring: Australia 8/10 and India 10/10
After a shaky powerplay, it was imperative for Australia to take control of the middle phase and they did just that, courtesy Mitchell Marsh and skipper Aaron Finch. Whilst not taking too many risks, the duo ensured that they kept the Indian bowlers at bay and played out the entire phase without losing a wicket, almost completely repairing the damage that was done in the powerplay. Despite the run-rate in the phase being just over 7.6, the duo ensured that they set the perfect platform for the team to launch themselves at the death.
‘Intent’ is a word in the dictionary that Virat Kohli loves more than anything and today, his batsmen visually represented the meaning of the same in the middle overs. The very first over post the field restrictions yielded 12 runs and despite losing both openers to the Aussie spinners, Kohli and Iyer then put the foot on the throttle to take the game away from Australia in no time. By the end of the 13th over, India had brought down the required run rate to under run a ball. The Men in Blue remarkably ended up scoring 101 runs off the 9 overs in the middle.
Death Bowling: India 7/10 and Australia na/10
The death overs were a tale of two halves for the Indian bowlers - the first three overs which were forgettable, a phase where they conceded 34 runs in 3 overs, and the last two which were remarkable, where Bumrah and Saini claimed SIX WICKETS to knock the Aussies out for 152. Given Mitch Marsh looked in ominous touch, you have to say that Bumrah and Saini did a fine job at the end to keep the Aussies under 165, but conceding 48 at the death is not great by any means, nevertheless.
9 runs was all that was needed for India to win when they entered the death overs and, incidentally, 9 balls was exactly what it took for them to finish the game off. Almost poetically, the match was finished off by Australia’s arch-enemy, Virat Kohli, with a wondrous six. Nothing much to speak about the Aussie bowlers here!
Match Frenzy O Meter - Good
The scoreboard would suggest that the game was boring and one-sided, but in reality, it was anything but that. It had its own share of twists and turns and the hitting that was on display, from the bat of Rohit, Finch, Kohli, Iyer and Marsh, was sublime. Worth the money, I’d say!
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