GUWAHATI, India — Australia swept to a crushing eight-wicket victory over India in their second Twenty20 on Tuesday, after Moises Henriques and Travis Head piled on an unbeaten 109-run partnership for the second wicket to level the three-match series.
Australia needed only 15.3 overs to reach 122-2 in reply, after Jason Behrendorff had taken a career-best 4-21 to bowl out the hosts for a paltry 118 runs. Adam Zampa chipped in with two wickets for 19 runs.
Henriques scored 62 off 46 balls, including four fours and four sixes, while Head made 48 with the help of five fours and a six.
It was Australia’s first win in eight T20 games against India and lines up a tantalizing finish to the series in Hyderabad on Friday.
“Jason has got the height and bounce, he comes from Perth and has the right attitude, which is key. Zampa was fantastic as well. Henriques came and showed his experience. Hopefully the crowd gets behind us in Hyderabad,” David Warner said.
Warner (2) and Aaron Finch (8) fell early in the chase as Australia was reduced to 13-2 in the third over, with Jasprit Bumrah (1-25) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-9) respectively taking the wickets.
But India’s hopes of defending a small target were dashed as their spinners, Kuldeep Yadav (0-46) and Yuzvendra Chahal (0-29), struggled in dewy conditions.
Henriques and Head were watchful early on, but opened up later in the innings to put on 50 runs off just 41 balls, and then bring up the 100 partnership off 73 deliveries.
Earlier, Behrendorff took three wickets in the space of eight balls to stun the capacity crowd at the Barsapara Stadium. It became the 49th venue in India to host international cricket, but Australia didn’t provide much for the crowd to celebrate after asking the hosts to bat.
“I have been working hard to play for Australia and I am loving every minute of it,” Behrendorff said. “The whole Indian team is a class team. It feels nice to take a few wickets and get to a great start. I can’t wait to do it again at Hyderabad.”
Behrendorff trapped Rohit Sharma (8) lbw and then caught a return catch off Virat Kohli (0) as the duo fell in the space of three balls in the first over. It was Kohli’s first-ever duck in international T20 cricket.
Manish Pandey (6) then edged behind off him in the third over. India was stuttering at 27-4 in the fifth over as Shikhar Dhawan (2) holed out off Behrendorff, with Warner taking an exceptional catch at long off, running backwards.
Behrendorff’s figures were the best for Australia against India in T20 cricket. He improved on Nathan Bracken’s 3-11 at Melbourne in 2008.
Kedar Jadhav (27) and MS Dhoni (13) put on 33 runs for the fifth wicket. But both were accounted by Zampa (2-19) in quick succession.
India was reduced to 70-7, before Hardik Pandya (25) and Kuldeep Yadav (16) added 33 runs to take the score past 100 in the 17th over.
Pandya was out caught off Marcus Stoinis (1-20) in the 18th as the runs came in a trickle, offering an easy target for the tourists.