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  5. Rinku Singh, bowlers led by Axar Patel guide India to series-clinching win in 4th T20I against Australia

Rinku Singh, bowlers led by Axar Patel guide India to series-clinching win in 4th T20I against Australia

Indian bowlers stormed back in style after leaking runs in the previous match as the Men in Blue defended a 174-run score in the fourth T20I to take a 3-1 unassailable lead against Australia. Rinku Singh starred with the bat while Axar Patel did the job with the ball taking three wickets.

Anshul Gupta Written By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Updated on: December 01, 2023 23:14 IST
India beat Australia on a slightly slower track in Raipur
Image Source : GETTY India beat Australia on a slightly slower track in Raipur in the 4th T20I by 20 runs

After a blip in Guwahati, the Indian team stormed back with a good 20-run win in the fourth T20I against Australia at Raipur's Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium on Friday, December 1 and took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series. 175 wasn't a big total to defend looking at the surface, which seemed like a good batting deck, however, it played much slower and eventually, it proved to be enough with Axar Patel being the star with the ball for India taking three wickets, including the big one of Travis Head.

Axar might have been disappointed to not be a part of the side for T20Is against South Africa, however, on a wicket that was holding and spinning a bit, he made the Australians dance to his tunes and didn't give any loose balls. Head had helped Australia get off to a sensational start and despite Ravi Bishnoi dismissing Josh Philippe for not much, the left-hander continued his work before Axar got into his. He first foxed Head before cleaning up Aaron Hardie as Australia went from 40/0 to 52/3.

Ben McDermott and Tim David strung a partnership together of 35 and the moment it looked like it was time to launch for the Aussies, Axar struck again. David and Matt Short then did provide some fireworks but it got too much for them in the end. Whatever little hope they had, Deepak Chahar after an expensive start, compensated by dismissing both of them in consecutive overs to kill the game.

Earlier it was the 56-run stand between Rinku Singh and Jitesh Sharma that helped India get to a score in excess of 170, which looked improbable when India found themselves in a spot of bother at 63/3. Ruturaj Gaikwad played scratchily before Rinku and Jitesh delivered on the promise. Jitesh, in particular, was fearless and confident as he smashed sixes at will and from the outset was looking to take on the bowlers.

Rinku had to play the dual role on Friday after India lost three wickets early. He first laid the foundation to launch from in the end. He missed out on his maiden T20I fifty but with Jitesh, he made sure that India got to a defendable score.

Australian skipper Matthew Wade rued the batters' game against spin as the main reason for the loss while Axar Patel was adjudged the player of the match for his figures of 3/16. The final match of the series will be played on Sunday, December 3 in Bengaluru.

 

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