Rohit Sharma starred as India levelled the three-match T20 international series against Australia with a six-wicket win in a match reduced to eight overs a side.
India won the toss and put Australia into bat in Nagpur after a wet outfield delayed the start by two-and-a-half hours. Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, with 43 not out off 20 balls, and the captain Aaron Finch (31 off 15) scored freely as Australia made 5-90.
The leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who claimed figures of 3-16 from two overs, bowled KL Rahul to end a 39-run opening stand with Rohit. Zampa then bowled Virat Kohli and trapped Suryakumar Yadav lbw in consecutive balls to give Australia some hope.
Rohit took consecutive boundaries off Sean Abbott in the next over, on his way to 46 not out off 20 balls. Pat Cummins had Hardik Pandya caught but India only needed nine to win off the last over, after their captain produced a classy late cut boundary off Cummins with the last ball of the seventh over.
Dinesh Karthik sent the crowd into a frenzy with a slog sweep off the first delivery bowled by Daniel Sams, and sealed the win with four balls to spare after striking another boundary. India’s victory sets up a series decider in Hyderabad on Sunday.
Finch notched 24 of his team’s first 31 runs, including an audacious scoop over the wicketkeeper’s head in the first over and a straight six off Yuzvendra Chahal in the third. Cameron Green was run out for five and Glenn Maxwell was bowled off his first delivery by Axar Patel.
The spinner also bowled Tim David before Finch had his leg peg uprooted by the recalled Jasprit Bumrah. Wade followed up his match-winning unbeaten 45 in the series opener with another boundary-laden innings, highlighted by three sixes off Harshal Patel in the final over.
“Rohit played brilliantly and two overs of Axar made the difference,” Finch said after the match. “Wade is a calm customer at the back end and he has grown into that finisher’s role.”