Krunal’s figures was the best by a spinner in T20 Internationals in Australia going past Glenn Maxwell, who owned the record earlier.  @ Getty Images
Krunal’s figures was the best by a spinner in T20 Internationals in Australia going past Glenn Maxwell, who owned the record earlier. @ Getty Images

In the series decider, the third and final Twenty20 International, Krunal Pandya stepped up to the task to bag four for 36 as India restricted Australia to 164/6 at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday. Krunal’s figures was the best by a spinner in T20 Internationals in Australia going past Glenn Maxwell, who owned the record earlier.

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After winning the toss, openers Aaron Finch and D’Arcy Short set up the launchpad with a perfect fifty-run partnership. The duo were helped with some pretty ordinary fielding by the visitors. Australia captain Finch received a lifeline on 22 when he was dropped by Rohit Sharma at long-on.

The partnership was broken when Finch failed to judge the extra bounce off Kuldeep Yadav and ended up ballooning it to Krunal at short fine leg. Finch departed after a brisk 23-ball 28.

Krunal, who was hit for 12 in his first over, rallied well in the next over picking up two wickets. He struck in the first ball trapping the other opener Short lbw for 33. A poor sweep shot in the next delivery saw Ben McDermott walk back for a duck as Krunal was on a hat-trick. However, Alex Carry ensured he connected the ball to square-leg to deny the elder of the Pandya brothers his maiden T20I hat-trick.

Krunal claimed his third wicket in the dangerous Maxwell, who tried to launch it, but was unable to clear Rohit at long-on and walked back after adding 13 to the total.

In his final over, the innings’ 16th, after being smashed for back-to-back boundaries, Krunal won the battle with Carey (27), who was caught at deep-midwicket after his mistimed sweep shot landed straight into the hands of captain Virat Kohli.

Australia were 119/5 when Carey walked back to the pavilion and were looking at a score not more than 150 after 20 overs with Australia preventing Chris Lynn, who was run out for just 13, from the spinners Krunal and Kuldeep.

However, with some clean hitting from Marcus Stoinis (25 off 15) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (13 off 7), Australia were able to 57 runs from the last five overs to reach 164/6, a decent score, but by no means, a competitive one.

Earlier, Mitchell Starc was included in the third T20I in place of the injured Billy Stanlake, while India remained unchanged with Yuzvendra Chahal still finding no place in the side.

Brief scores: Australia 164/6 (D’Arcy Short 33; Krunal Pandya 4/36) versus India