India pacer Mohammed Shami executed two near-perfect yorkers removing the big-hitter Ashton Turner and then Pat Cummins off consecutive deliveries during the fag end of Australia’s chase 341 against India during the second ODI at Saurashtra Cricket Stadium, Rajkot on Friday.
While Australia were behind the eight-ball by that stage in the massive chase with Kuldeep Yadav claiming the well-set Steve Smith for 98 in the 38th over to push India towards a series-levelling victory, Shami, on for his third and final spell of the night put the final nails in the coffin of the Australian chase with two wickets in two deliveries.
First, it was Turner who looked to make room for himself to go over covers but was cleaned up as he missed the ball. Off the very next ball, Cummins was clean bowled off a pacy yorker as he could not get his bat down on time.
Shami was on a hat-trick and he came close to doing that but was denied as Mitchell Starc survived a leg-before-wicket appeal, and with India exhausting their reviews, Shami was left at the umpire’s mercy.
India went on to win the match by 36 runs to level the series and set up a mouthwatering decider at Bengaluru on Sunday. Shami was the pick of the bowlers as he scalped three for 77 runs, while Navdeep Saini, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep picked two wickets apiece.
Earlier in the day, Australia won the toss and put hosts India into bat first. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan got India off to a steady start stitching a 81-run stand. Sharma was dismissed trying to sweep Adam Zampa for 42 off 44 balls.
India skipper Virat Kohli (78) then joined Dhawan (96) and the duo added 103 runs for the second wicket before Australia struck back with three quick wickets in the middle overs, but Rahul 52-ball 80 blitz in the final five overs ensured India reach the formidable total.