Travis Head and Moises Henriques put up an unbeaten 109-run stand as Australia beat India by 8 wickets in the second Twenty20 International to level series 1-1 at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on Tuesday.
Chasing a 119-run target, the Australian run chase got off to a woeful start as they lost both their openers inside three overs. Indian captain Virat Kohli first held a skier to dismiss his counterpart David Warner off Jasprit Bumrah in the second over and in the next over took a simple catch off a Bhuvneshwar Kumar delivery to send Aaron Finch back to the pavilion.
But Head (48*) and Henriques (62*) put up a quickfire unbeaten partnership to steady the run chase and took their team to victory without any more hiccups with 27 balls to spare. Henriques reached his second T20I 50 off 42 balls with a six over mid-wicket off Kuldeep Yadav.
Earlier, rookie Australia pacer Jason Behrendorff ran through India's star-studded top-order before the hosts were bundled out for 118 runs. Behrendorff, playing only his second international match, ended with dream figures of four for 21 in four overs. The 27-year-old from Western Australia swung the ball both ways on a helping pitch with Rohit Sharma (8), Shikhar Dhawan (2) and Virat Kohli (0) among his high-profile scalps.
It was the first international game played at the venue and the packed crowd was in for a shock after Rohit hit two crisp fours in the opening over bowled by Behrendorff. Behrendorff showed remarkable maturity to bounce back from those two boundaries to trap Rohit plumb in front with an inswinger.
Kohli departed two balls later after getting a faint inside edge while attempting a flick and the looping ball was caught by none other than the left-arm pacer. Behrendorff then had Manish Pandey caught behind with one that swung away just enough before Dhawan fell to a spectacular running catch by opposition captain David Warner. His spell of four overs was enough to break the backbone of Indian batting which was hardly tested in the ODI series. The figures were also Behrendorff's best in the T20 format.
With India in deep trouble at 27 for four, Kedar Jadhav (27) and MS Dhoni (13) tried to get going in the middle and ended up with a 33-run stand. However, Australia were able to tighten their noose around India in the middle overs through Adam Zampa (2/19 in four overs). He had a charging Dhoni stumped with a perfect leg-spinner before finding Jadhav's stumps to leave India in more trouble at 67 for six.
Hardik Pandya (25) hit a cracking six over midwicket, much to the entertainment of the home crowd but it was not enough to take India to a competitive total.
India win 1st T20
In the first T20I, India won the rain truncated match via D|L rule. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli scored the revised six-over target of 48 with 3 balls to spare after a Steve Smith-less Australian side succumbed to batting frailties.