India © Getty Images
India pulled off a convincing victory and took the series as well © Getty Images

Aaron Finch played a valiant but lone hand, as India’s spinners once again restricted Australia to win the second T20 International (T20I) between India and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Friday by 27 runs and win the series 2-0. Finch and Shaun Marsh put on 94 for the first wicket, but the dismissal of Marsh opened the doors for India’s spinners to take charge once again. Marsh could score only a run-a-ball 23 out of that, but the next two batsmen — Chris Lynn and Glenn Maxwell — were dismissed for single-digit scores. Shane Watson was dismissed for 15, and was followed almost immediately by Finch. Full Cricket Scorecard: India vs Australia 2015-16, 2nd T20I at Melbourne

The way Australia started off it looked like the chase was very much on the cards. Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah were taken for 59 off the first six overs before Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin kept things quiet. The latter had Marsh hole out to Pandya, which started Australia’s slide. Pandya then had Lynn top-edge an attempted pull for 2 off 4. It was then Yuvraj Singh’s turn to pick up a wicket, as Glenn Maxwell was beaten outside off to one that was a bit flighted. Dhoni affected the stumping in a flash and engaged in an impromptu, uncharacteristic celebration. Full Cricket Blog: India vs Australia 2015-16, 2nd T20I at Melbourne

Jadeja then pulled off a fantastic caught-and-bowled to dismiss Shane Watson for 15 off 11 balls. Watson hit one back to Jadeja only to see the bowler pull off an excellent reaction catch. Watson could not help but smile ruefully at his luck. The wicket India needed came in the next over when Finch, cramping slightly, ended up getting run out for a well-compiled 74 off 48 balls with eight fours and two sixes. Jadeja was hit for six by James Faulkner but got him out stumped a few balls later; albeit off Dhoni’s pads. The dismissal was also Dhoni’s 140th international stumping, which took him past Kumar Sangakkara’s haul to make the wicketkeeper with the most international stumpings.

After that it was just a matter of going through the motions. Nehra conceded six singles off the penultimate over, which left Australia with 34 runs to win off the final over. Bumrah ensured his expensive first spell did not affect his ability to bowl yorkers — John Hastings and Andrew Tye were cleaned up by the now-trademark Bumrah yorker — as India romped home with consummate ease to win the match by 27 runs and take the series 2-0.

Earlier, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan laid the platform while Virat Kohli put on the finishing touches, as the visitors piled on 184 for 3 — the highest T20I total at the MCG. India, who lead the series 1-0, were put in to bat after Australian skipper Aaron Finch won the toss. However, things did not go as Finch would have wanted, with the Indian openers hammering 97 for the first wicket. Australia opened bowling with Shane Watson and John Hastings, but by the ninth over seven bowlers had already been used. Finch’s decision to keep rotating his bowlers backfired, with the Indian batsmen cashing on almost every new bowler introduced. READ: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma star as India smash 184 for 3 against Australia in 2nd T20I at MCG

Rohit was a bit slow to get going, but once he got his eye in he started bringing out the big hits. Dhawan was the more fluent of the two early on, getting India the early momentum by hitting Hastings for two fours and a six in the fourth over of the innings. That opened the floodgates, with Rohit hitting James Faulkner for three boundaries in the very next over of the innings. Scott Boland and Andrew Tye — two of Australia’s three debutants — started off well with economical first overs, Boland giving just one run, and Tye giving five. However, the third debutant, Nathan Lyon, had a nightmarish debut by giving 15 runs in the only over he bowled. READ: Virat Kohli is the best batsman across formats in international cricket: Proven

Dhawan was the first to go, reverse-sweeping Glenn Maxwell to Chris Lynn. He had contributed an important 42 off 32 balls with three fours and two sixes. Rohit and Kohli then put on a swift 46 runs, with Kohli contributing 32 of those runs. Rohit was unfortunately run out after a bit of miscommunication that saw him set off for a tough second run despite Kohli waving to him not to run. MS Dhoni promoted himself up to No. 4 ahead of Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh, and started hitting the ball hard right from the start. One shot in particular stood out: a straight hit against Faulkner that sped to the boundary in a matter of seconds. Had it hit anyone on the way, a few broken bones would have been the best case scenario.

Kohli was on strike batting on 49 at the start of the final over, to be bowled by Andrew Tye. Kohli got to his fifty with a boundary off the first ball, and proceeded to get three off the next two balls. Dhoni then hit the next ball to Shane Watson at long off. Kohli and Raina managed to sneak in two off the next ball, though had Tye collected the throw Raina would have been run out. They could only take a single off the last ball, ending at 184 for 3.

Brief scores:

India 184 for 3 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 60, Shikhar Dhawan 42, Virat Kohli 59*; Andrew Tye 1 for 28, Glenn Maxwell 1 for 17) beat Australia 157 for 8 in 20 overs (Aaron Finch 74; Jasprit Bumrah 2 for 37, Ravindra Jadeja 2 for 32) by 27 runs.

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Man of the Match: Virat Kohli

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek who loves cricket more than cricketers. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)