India wrapped up an important away series triumph over Australia via a 27-run win in the second T20I at the MCG on Friday night. Chasing 185 for victory, the hosts suffered a dramatic batting collapse after a superb start by Shaun Marsh and top-scoring Aaron Finch.
Australia made wholesale changes to the side that went down in the first clash, with superstars Steve Smith and David Warner rested, and Travis Head, Kane Richardson, Shaun Tait and Cameron Boyce dropping out. Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, John Hastings and debutants Nathan Lyon, Andrew Tye and Scott Boland joined the starting XI.
Rohit Sharma (60 off 47) and Shikhar Dhawan (42 off 32) got India off to another flyer, putting on a 97-run opening stand, before Virat Kohli’s golden run Down Under continued with a brilliant 59 not out off 33 balls. Captain MS Dhoni made another handy late-innings contribution with 14 off nine balls to help the visitors to 3/184.
Test star Lyon endured an unhappy maiden T20I outing, going for 15 in his sole over before being hauled out of the attack by stand-in skipper Matthew Wade.
Marsh (23 off 23) and Finch (74 off 48) produced an opening partnership of 94, but after Marsh departed in the 10th over, Australia lost another four wickets for the addition of just 30 runs in the ensuing six overs.
Needing 61 off 28, the home side were always behind the eight-ball and eventually reached only 8/157 from their 20 overs. Compounding their woes, Finch limped off with an apparent hamstring injury when he was run out in the 16th over.
The rivals now head to Sydney for Sunday’s dead-rubber third encounter, with Australia desperate for a morale-boosting win and India eager to make another emphatic statement ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup on home soil in March.