(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) Shreyas Iyer's impressive half-century proved crucial for India as they managed to set a competitive total on a challenging pitch, facing the relentless spells of the Australian bowlers. Winning the toss once again, Matthew Wade opted to bowl on a tricky surface in Bengaluru. The Indian openers faced difficulties, with Yashasvi Jaiswal providing some relief with a couple of big hits in the Powerplay. However, Jaiswal (21 off 15) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (10 off 12) could only add 33 runs for the opening wicket before Jaiswal fell to Jason Behrendorff in the 4th over.
The Men in Blue faced a setback, losing Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, and Rinku Singh in quick succession, dwindling to 55/4 in 9.1 overs. Jitesh Sharma counter-attacked with a quick 24 off 16 balls before falling to Aaron Hardie in the 14th over. Jitesh's 42-run partnership with vice-captain Shreyas Iyer for the 5th wicket brought some stability.
Tanveer Sangha controlled the middle overs, ending with figures of 4-0-26-1, while Ben Dwarshuis impressed with 4-0-30-2, claiming the wickets of Gaikwad and SKY. Axar Patel and Iyer's 46-run partnership for the 6th wicket added valuable runs. Patel contributed 31 off 21 balls in his 50th T20I, complementing Shreyas Iyer's well-paced fifty, scoring 53 off 37 balls.
India lost both set batsmen in the 19th and 20th overs, reaching 160/8 in 20 overs. Jason Behrendorff took two wickets, while Nathan Ellis dismissed Iyer but was costly in his spell.
Facing a challenging batting surface, with a hint of drizzle, Australia now has the task of chasing down the target or succumbing to the spin prowess of the Indian hosts in the series finale.
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