Cricket-India go 2-0 up in T20 series after top order pummels Australia

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s top order fired on all cylinders to fashion a 44-run win over Australia to put the home side 2-0 ahead in the five-match T20 series in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.

Put in to bat, India’s top three batters smashed rapid fifties to power the hosts to a commanding 235-4 at the Greenfield International Stadium.

In reply, Australia failed to fully recover from a top-order collapse and managed only 191-9.

Australia beat India in the final of the 50-overs World Cup earlier this month and both teams have fielded second-string squads for the T20 series.

Yashasvi Jaiswal (53) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (58) forged a rollicking 77-run opening stand to give India a flying start following Australia captain Matthew Wade’s decision to field.

Ishan Kishan (52) upped the tempo towards the end and Ringku Singh smashed 31 not out off just nine deliveries as India plundered 111 runs off the last seven overs in a spectacular display of power-hitting.

Australia faltered early in their chase and were reeling at 58-4 in the eighth over before Marcus Stoinis (45) and Tim David (37) arrested the slide.

Wade made 42 not out down the order but Australia still finished well short of their target.

The teams now move to Guwahati for the third ODI on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Hugh Lawson)