Wade helps Australia deny India T20 series sweep

By Sports Desk December 08, 2020

Australia avoided suffering a Twenty20 series sweep at the hands of India on home soil thanks to a 12-run victory in the third and final match in Sydney. 

Virat Kohli made 85 from 61 deliveries but India still came up short in reply to the home side's total of 186-5, which was aided by a plethora of mistakes by the tourists in the field. 

Opener Matthew Wade helped Australia post such an imposing target, the left-hander making 80 from just 53 deliveries – his highest score in the shortest format at international level. 

Glenn Maxwell contributed an entertaining 54 after twice being given reprieves; he was firstly dismissed off a no ball from Yuzvendra Chahal on 19, then dropped by Deepak Chahar when he had 38 to his name. 

Maxwell made the most of the opportunities to add 90 runs for the third wicket in partnership with Wade, who was eventually trapped lbw by Shardul Thakur in the 19th over. 

India lost KL Rahul to the second ball of their reply before managing a run and while Shikhar Dhawan (28) and captain Kohli put on 74 for the second wicket, the ever-rising run-rate left the visitors with too much to do in the closing stages. 

Having been inexplicably dropped by Steve Smith early on, Kohli's hopes of a first T20 hundred for his country disappeared when he fell to a smart catch in the deep by Daniel Sams off the bowling of Andrew Tye. 

However, it had been Australia's leg-spinners who were the stars with the ball, Adam Zampa and Mitchell Swepson combining for figures of 4-44 from seven overs. 

Thakur smashed two late sixes but an equation of 27 from the final six balls was always too much to ask from India's tail, their innings finishing on 174-7. 

The two teams will now switch their focus to Test cricket, as the four-match series gets under way with a day-night contest in Adelaide next week. 

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    Babar Azam's century had spurred Pakistan to a nine-wicket win in the third game of this four-match series, but where that contest, also at Centurion, was a run-fest, with both teams topping 200, this time South Africa were masters of their own downfall.

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    Faheem Ashraf tormented the top order for figures of 3-17 in four overs, while Hasan Ali rebounded well from being carted for 29 in his opening two overs, finishing with 3-40.

    In Pakistan's reply, Fakhar came to the crease after Mohammad Rizwan slumped to a first-over stumping, and the left-hander soon set about the home attack, crunching five fours and four sixes before being caught as a wild swipe at Lizaad Williams sent the ball skywards.

    His departure triggered the second heavy flurry of wickets in the match, Pakistan sliding from 92-1 to 129-7, needing someone to find some composure.

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