India’s world-class finisher Hardik Pandya fell shy of repeating his game two heroics as Australia recorded a consolation victory in the final Twenty20 against India tonight.
Australia’s first innings total of 5-186 looked to be under par, given India’s success chasing 195 for victory on Sunday night, but an improved bowling display delivered a 12-run win at the SCG.
Indian captain Virat Kohli (85) and Pandya (20) were on track to pull off another devastating chase, before a brave captaincy call to bowl Adam Zampa in the third last over paid dividends with the first ball.
Zampa (1-21 off three) and skipper Aaron Finch combined to remove Pandya after fellow spinner Mitchell Swepson earlier took 3-23 in a superb spell.
The match was all but sealed when WA seamer Andrew Tye (1-31) removed Kohli in the penultimate over.
Former Australian captain Steve Smith made the costly mistake of dropping the world-class batsmen for nine in the third over off Glenn Maxwell’s bowling.
The prized scalp would’ve given Maxwell (1-20) two wickets inside his first eight deliveries, after dismissing opener KL Rahul for a duck with the second ball of the innings.
Instead, Kohli struck a measured 61-ball 85, featuring seven boundaries, but couldn’t turn the second chance into a match-winning knock.
Captain Aaron Finch returned to the side after missing Sunday’s match with a glute injury but couldn’t trouble the scoreboard in the first innings, dismissed for a second ball duck.
Last start skipper Wade (80) produced his second consecutive half-century as he and switch-hit extraordinaire Glenn Maxwell put on 90 for the third wicket.
Wade was given a life on 50, as Indian captain Virat Kohli called for a third umpire review after a replay was shown on the big screen, resulting in a ‘null and void’ review.
Replays showed the wicket-keeper should’ve been out leg before wicket.
In the drama-filled innings, Maxwell was also put down on 38, before upping the tempo to smash three sixes and three fours in a damaging knock.
The 32-year-old was again dropped on 54 by Yuzvendra Chahal, before having his stumps skittled by left-arm newcomer Thangarasu Natarajan (1-32) in the final over.
Shardul Thakur gave India hope until the very last ball, taking 14 runs off Sean Abbott’s (1-49) final over before falling narrowly short.
India will now turn their attention to a Tour match against Australia A at the SCG commencing on Friday.