Face saver for Australia as they win the third T20

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Australian bowlers stayed calm under pressure and despite the genius of Virat Kohli, prevented India from making a clean-sweep of the T20 series with with a 12-run victory.

The loss ended the Indians’ 10-match winning streak in the format.

Australia’s white-ball captain Aaron Finch returned to lead the team after missing the second match with a glute strain, but lasted just two balls, with Sundar removing him with a straight ball rocket.

Sundar could have got Steven Smith too, on 18, but wicketkeeper KL Rahul missed a stumping. Smith added six to his tally before Sundar bowled him with a loopy offbreak.

The stage was set for Maxwell to get into the act.

Wade and Maxwell rock

Maxwell united with Wade and put on 90 off 52 balls.

Wade’s second consecutive half-century was well-complemented by Maxwell’s blazing stroke play as Australia posted a competitive 186 for 5.

He was the dominant partner during the 65-run stand with a scratchy Steve Smith (24) but played the second fiddle once Maxwell got his touch back.

Maxwell struggled with his timing initially, also got into the act during the last six overs with a 35-ball-54.

India’s bowling heroes were Washington Sundar (2/34 in 4 overs) and Thangarasu Natarajan (1/33 in 4 overs).

Natarajan, despite a few boundaries conceded in the final over, looked like the real deal, with the confidence of past performances behind him.

India begin badly

KL Rahul went for a duck in the second ball of the innings, falling to Maxwell.

But Dhawan and Virat Kohli steadied the ship and took the score to 74 before he became the first of Swepson’s three victims.

Skipper Kohli looked determined to make it a 3-0 result with an aggressive 85 off 61 balls, studded with 4 fours and 3 sixes.

But sadly, the rest of the batsmen failed to support him.

Sanju Samson went cheaply for just 10 runs and must be rueing the chances he has repeatedly squandered in this tour.

It was important for Pandya to stay but he was bamboozled by a Zampa leg-break that forced him to hit one against the turn and be caught at short third-man.

The 13th over by Swepson was pivotal.

It resulted in the two big wickets of Iyer and Samson and effectively turned the tide in Australia’s favour.

Kohli got as many as four reprieves and cashed in well but it wasn’t meant to be India’s day as they could only reach as far as 174/7 in their pursuit of 187 in 20 overs.

Once Pandya was gone, there was too much pressure on Kohli and this was one rare occasion when he failed to take the team home.

Though Swepson got three wickets, the only wicket-taking delivery he bowled was the one that got Shreyas Iyer out for a first-ball duck, with both Samson and Dhawan falling to rather innocuous balls.

Australia 186 for 5 (Wade 80, Maxwell 54, Sundar 2-34, Natarajan 1-33) beat India174 for 7 (Kohli 85, Swepson 3-23, Zampa 1-21) by 12 runs