India vs Australia: Rain plays spoilsport

The weather forecast had predicted that clouds would loom over the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) throughout the second match of the three-T20I series between India and Australia. The match escaped the threat only until the 19th over of the first innings. Australia were 132 for 7, staring at a probable defeat.

After the delay, the match referees announced the revised score: India needed 137 from 19 overs. However, as soon as the players took the field, the rain decided to further frustrate them. More delays mean the overs will be reduced again. India needed 90 off 11 overs, before the drizzle pushed them back into their dressing room. The pattern continued: the match was reduced to 5 overs, the rain came back, and the match was eventually called off. Australia lead the series 1-0.

Virat Kohli chose to field first after calling it right at the toss. With the rain threat in mind and the nature of the pitch, his decision paid off. Bhuvneshwar Kumar caught Aaron Finch behind for a first-ball duck. Bhuvi could have had D’Arcy Short and Chris Lynn had Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah held onto their catches, but the blunders did not cost India much. Khaleel Ahmed exploited Bhuvi’s misfortune and soon ended the lucky Australians’ stay. The home team could not recover since. Bhuvi bagged another wicket, while Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, and Krunal Pandya took a wicket apiece. The only Australian batter who could find his feet was Ben McDermott: he remained unbeaten on 32 off 30.

Brief scores:

Australia132 for 7 in 19 overs (McDermott 32*; Bhuvi  2 for 20, Khaleel 2 for 39) vs India (Did not bat).


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