India defeated Australia by nine wickets in their second warm-up game of the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 at ICC Academy Ground in Dubai on Wednesday.
Chasing 153 for victory, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul took India off to a flyer. The duo went on to add 68 runs for the opening wicket before Ashton Agar drew the first blood by removing Rahul for 39. Rohit, however, stayed on the crease and hit a vital half-century.
Rohit, along with Surykumar Yadav, stitched a 59-run partnership for the second wicket before getting out retired hurt to provide opportunities to other batters. Surya and Hardik Pandya remained unbeaten on 38 and 14 as India chased down the target in 17.5 overs.
Earlier, after opting to bat first, Australia started terribly, losing the top three batters for 11 runs. Then, Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith tried to calm things down. The pair formed a crucial partnership of 61 runs for the fourth wicket to take Australia out of hot waters.
Maxwell was cleaned up by Rahul Chahar in the 12th over, but Smith kept his end alive and continued scoring runs. The former Aussie skipper hit a vital half-century to roar back into the form. He stayed on the crease until the second last ball of the final over bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Smith made 57 runs off 48 balls to help Australia post 152/5 in their allotted 20 overs. Marcus Stoinis also chipped in with a valuable contribution of unbeaten 41 runs from just 25 deliveries with the help of five boundaries.
For India, Ravichandran Ashwin (2/8) picked up two wickets, while Chahar (1/17), Bhuvneshwar (1/27) and Ravindra Jadeja (1/35) bagged one wicket apiece.
Clinical England seal victory over New Zealand
In the second warm-up fixture of the day, England defeated New Zealand by 13 runs at Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi.
Put in to bat first, England posted 163/6 in their allotted 20 overs, thanks to Jos Butter’s scintillating display with the bat. The wicketkeeper-batsman took Kiwi bowlers to the cleaners and scored 73 runs off just 51 balls, including 11 fours and two sixes.
Apart from Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Sam Billings made notable contributions down the order to help England reach a competitive total. While Bairstow scored 30 from 21 deliveries, Billings stayed unbeaten on 27 off 17 balls.
Ish Sodhi was the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand. The leg-spinner bagged three scalps for 26 runs in his quota of 4 overs. Lockie Ferguson (1/19), Tim Southee (1/31) and Glenn Phillips (1/6) took one wicket each.
In reply, New Zealand could only manage to reach 150/3, losing the contest by 13 runs. Only opener Martin Guptill looked in good touch. He scored 41 runs off 20 balls with the help of 4 fours and three sixes. After Guptill, the second-best scorer for the Blackcaps was tailender Sodhi, who made 25 off 16 balls.
For the Eoin Morgan-led side, pacer Mark Wood and spinner Adil Rashid were impressive with the ball. While Wood picked up a four-wicket haul after conceding 23 runs, Rashid bagged three scalps for 18 runs.