A brilliant comeback by pacer Arshdeep Singh, who defended nine runs in the final over, after a superb half-century by Shreyas Iyer and late hitting by Axar Patel helped India beat Australia by six runs in the fifth and final T20I match and win the series 4-1 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Sunday.
It was Super Sunday for India as Arshdeep, who had conceded 37 runs in three overs, bounced back brilliantly and gave away just three runs while claiming the wicket of Australia skipper Matthew Wade as India sealed a dramatic victory. Arshdeep was included in the squad in place of Deepak Chahar, who left Bengaluru because of a medical emergency.
Chasing a modest target of 181, Australia were in cruise mode at 128/5 in the 17th over. However, the Indians fought back brilliantly thanks to some brilliant bowling as they conceded just 38 runs for three wickets in the last five overs to restrict Australia to 154/8 in 20 overs. At the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, 160 is the lowest total defended by a team in T20I cricket.
India were off to a good start with the ball as they reduced the visitors to 55/3 in the seventh over, sending back Josh Phillips (4), Travis Head (28) and Aaron Hardie (5) cheaply.
Ben McDermott, who waged a lone battle and hammered a 36-ball 54, hitting five maximums, added 47 runs for the fourth wicket with Tim David (17). But the Indian bowlers were not done yet and fought back bravely to trigger a collapse.
Matthew Short (16) and skipper Matthew Wade (22) up some resistance but in the end they fell short against the clinical Indian bowling.
For India, Mukesh Kumar claimed 3-32 while Ravi Bishnoi (2-29) and Arshdeep Singh (2-40) claimed a brace apiece.
Axar Patel, hero of India’s victory in the fourth match, bowled brilliantly in the middle overs again, tying the batters into knots as the left-arm spinner finished with 1-14 in his four overs.
Earlier, Shreyas Iyer struck a 37-ball 53 to help India post a modest 160/8 after being asked to bat first by Wade.
While Shreyas Iyer struck five boundaries and two maximums, Jitesh Sharma hammered a 16-ball 24 and Axar Patel blasted a 21-ball 31 studded with two fours and one six as India recovered from an early collapse to post a modest total.
Having already sealed the series 3-1 in the fourth match at Raipur, India made a decent start of 33 before opener Yashasvi Jaiswal was sent back by Jason Behrendorff for 21 in the fourth over.
Fellow opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (10) was out in the next over, caught by Behrendorff off Ben Dwarshuis as India slumped to 33 for two after Australia skipper Matthew Wade won the toss and elected to bowl first in the inconsequential match.
Skipper Suryakumar Yadav could manage only five runs while Rinku Singh, a hero for India with the bat in the fourth match, failed for once, getting out for six runs, caught by Tim David off Tanveer Sangha.
Shreyas and Jitesh added 42 runs for the fifth wicket while he and Axar Patel raised 46 runs for the sixth wicket partnership as India reached 143/6 in the 19th over.
India 160/8 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 53, Axar Patel 31, Jitesh Sharma 24; Jason Behrendorff 2-38, Ben Dwarshuis 2-30) beat Australia 154/8 in 20 overs (Ben McDermott 54, Travis Head 28; Mukesh Kumar 3-32, Ravi iBishnoi 2-29, Arshdeep Singh 2-40) by six runs.