Dettol T20I Series v India
Aussies withstand Indian onslaught to claim T20I thriller
Wade, Maxwell and spin twins Swepson and Zampa the heroes for the hosts, who repelled a devastating late charge from Kohli and Pandya to win the third T20
Sam Ferris at the SCG
8 December 2020, 11:35 PM AEST
Australia avoided an Indian clean sweep by winning the third Dettol T20 International in Sydney by 12 runs in front of a buzzing crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Matthew Wade's red-hot form continued with 80 and Glenn Maxwell was as entertaining as ever with 54 as the hosts posted 5-186 having been sent in to bat.
India captain Virat Kohli threatened to produce another run-chase masterclass with a typically brilliant 85 but the performance of leg-spinner Mitch Swepson, who took 3-23, nullified the champion batsman's impact to restrict the visitors to 7-173.
It means that over the six limited-overs matches the two sides couldn't be split, winning three games each with Australia taking out the ODIs and India the T20Is.
What's left is the four-match Vodafone Test series, which starts on December 17 in Adelaide before moving to Melbourne (Dec 26-30), Sydney (Jan 7-11) and Brisbane (Jan 15-19).
Even with India 4-100 after 13 overs, requiring 87 from the 42 balls, Australia could not relax with Kohli and Hardik Pandya at the crease.
Maxwell had struck with just the second ball of the innings to have KL Rahul caught in the deep, and the part-time off-spinner should have had Kohli in his second over but Steve Smith uncharacteristically dropped a routine catch on the boundary at wide long on.
For the second straight match Swepson did not concede a boundary in his four overs, and claimed the wickets of Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer and Shikhar Dhawan, who was amazingly caught in the deep by a juggling Daniel Sams.
But above all others, the hosts sought the wicket of Kohli, whose presence in the middle kept every one of the 30,436 fans in attendance glued to their seats.
Kohli and Pandya took nine runs off Sean Abbott in the 15th over, 20 off the 16th over by Sams, another 13 the next over from Andrew Tye to swing the momentum back to the visitors.
Australia needed a wicket and leg-spinner Adam Zampa showed himself to be exactly that, forcing a top-edge from the bat of Pandya to his skipper Aaron Finch at short third man and next over, with the asking rate nearing a ball per boundary, Kohli was well held by Sams diving forward at deep point off the bowling of Tye.
There was a mass exodus of fans once Kohli left the field to a standing ovation, and that usually means the match result is over, as it was on Tuesday night.
Earlier, Australia captain Finch returned after missing Sunday's second match with a glute injury but faced only two balls when he was out in the second over without scoring.
Wade and Steve Smith, who made 24 but should have been stumped on 18, put on 65 for the second wicket before the right-hander was bowled to be Washington Sundar's second victim of the night.
Shortly after Wade reached his half-century, there was a moment of confusion when the keeper-batsman was given not out lbw, but when Kohli saw a replay on the big screen he called for a review. But given his decision was swayed but what he saw, which was mistakenly shown inside the 15 second time limit for a review, the referral was ruled "null and void" by third umpire Paul Wilson.
It looked as though Kohli wasn't going to review before seeing the replay, but if he had Wade would have been out after ball tracking confirmed three red lights.
If Wade had a slice of luck, Maxwell had the rest of the cake. He was caught off a no-ball by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal on 19, dropped when he was on 38 by Deepak Chahar in the deep and dropped again on 54 by Chahal.
Wade fell in the 18th over, plumb lbw, and Maxwell followed the next over, bowled missing a full toss trying a reverse swat shot to end another remarkable and unpredictable innings, which summed up the highly entertaining T20 series.
Australia XI: Aaron Finch (c), Matthew Wade (wk), Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques, D'Arcy Short, Daniel Sams, Sean Abbott, Andrew Tye, Mitch Swepson, Adam Zampa
India XI: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul (wk), Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Thangarasu Natarajan
Dettol T20 INTL Series v India 2020
Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, D'Arcy Short, Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa
India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wk), Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan, Shardul Thakur
First T20: India won by 11 runs
Second T20: India won by six wickets with two balls to spare
Third T20: December 8, SCG, 7.10pm AEDT