Nagpur (Maharashtra) [India], September 24 (ANI): Following his side's six-wicket loss to Australia in a rain-hit second T20I, Australian captain Aaron Finch lauded Indian spinner Axar Patel's performance, saying that it was the difference between both the sides.
Rohit Sharma's unbeaten 46 of 20 balls helped India chase a massive 91-run target to level the series 1-1 in the second T20I in Nagpur here at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium in Nagpur which was impacted by rain. Axar Patel also shone with the ball, taking 2/13 in two overs.
"You probably plan for a 5 over game and then a bit more to it. Rohit played brilliantly and two overs of Axar made the difference. Wade is a calm customer at the back end and he has grown into that finisher's role. Zampa was good too," said Finch in a post-match presentation.
Coming to the match, it was reduced to eight overs per side due to rain. India opted to bowl first after winning the toss. Australia posted 90/5 in their eight overs. Knocks from Aaron Finch (31 off 15 balls) and Matthew Wade (43 off 20) helped Australia post a challenging total on the board.
Axar Patel was the pick of the Indian bowlers, taking 2/13 in two overs. Jasprit Bumrah also returned to action with a two-over spell of 1/23. Pacer Harshal Patel leaked runs once again, giving away 32 runs in just two overs.
Chasing 91, Team India was off to a great start, posting 39 in just 2.5 overs before KL Rahul was dismissed for 10 off 5 balls. Spinner Adam Zampa helped Australia make a brief comeback, trapping Virat Kohli (11 off 6 balls) and Suryakumar Yadav (golden duck) quickly, reducing India to 55/3 in 4.3 overs. But it was opener Rohit Sharma (46 off 20 balls), who kept one end steady and his partner Dinesh Karthik (10) finished off things in style with a six and four in the first two balls of the final over. India finished at 92/4 in 7.2 overs.
Adam Zampa delivered a brilliant spell of 3/16 in two overs but could not guide his team to a win. Pat Cummins also took one wicket.
Rohit was adjudged as 'Man of the Match' for his brilliant 46 off 20 balls, consisting of four boundaries and four sixes.
India has now levelled the series 1-1, with the decider set to be played in Hyderabad on September 25. (ANI)