The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru hosted the fifth and final T20I between India and Australia on Sunday, December 3. The ‘Men in Blue’ came into the match with an unassailable 3-1 lead after winning the last game in Raipur by 20 runs.
Matthew Wade decided to bowl first after winning the toss on a dryish wicket. Yashasvi Jaiswal hit a flurry of boundaries before being dismissed while the in-form Ruturaj Gaikwad was also dismissed early. Stand-in captain Suryakumar Yadav and Rinku Singh also departed soon as India were reeling at 55/4 in the 10th over.
Shreyas Iyer formed a 42-run partnership with Jitesh Sharma before the latter departed for 24 off 16. Axar Patel joined Iyer and the duo stitched a 46-run partnership off 33 balls as India were looking to finish strongly. However, Axar was dismissed for 31 in the 19th over. Iyer scored a hard-fought half-century before going back 53 off 37 to take India to 160/8.
Australia fall short
In reply, Travis Head set the tone for the tourists by hitting the first three balls of the innings for boundaries off Arshdeep Singh. However, Avesh Khan bowled an excellent second over to pull things back before Mukesh Kumar dismissed Josh Philippe in the third over. Ravi Bishnoi was introduced once again by Suryakumar inside the Powerplay and he dismissed Head in his first over.
Ben McDermott resurrected the Aussie innings by scoring a fine half-century. Tim David formed a crucial 47-run partnership with McDermott as Australia got themselves into a solid position. However, Mukesh Kumar bowled excellently at the death and brought India back into the game. In the last over, the tourists needed 10 runs with three wickets in hand. Arshdeep bowled with good discipline as India won by six runs. The series ended 4-1 in favour of India.
Top Performers of the Match
Shreyas Iyer (53 off 37) Iyer saw wickets falling around him but he played patiently and helped India get to a fighting total. His 53 off 37 was all the more impressive as it came on a difficult pitch where the ball did not come onto the bat as it usually does in Bengaluru.
Mukesh Kumar (3/32, 4 overs) The Indian pacer picked up a wicket in his first over but he made a crucial impact in the death overs, dismissing Short and Ben Dwarshuis. In the penultimate over, he conceded just seven runs by executing his plans commendably. What’s Next This was the last game in the five-match series. India will now travel to South Africa to play a multi-format series. Australia, on the other hand, will take on Pakistan in a three-Test series at home.