Watson blitzkrieg takes Australia to 197/5 vs India

Watson blitzkrieg takes Australia to 197/5 vs India

Stand-in captain Shane Watson pulverised a mediocre Indian bowling to smash an unbeaten 124 as Australia scored a commendable 197 for five in 20 overs in the inconsequential third T20 International, here today.

The seasoned all-rounder played only 71 balls hitting 10 fours and half a dozen of sixes carrying his bat through the innings after winning the toss.

Such was Watson's dominance that the next best score was 26 from Travis Head.
Indian bowlers who were impressive in the first two games were belted out of the park as Australian batsmen hit a total of 16 boundaries and seven sixes in their innings.
The hit pair of Ravichandran Ashwin (1/36) and Ravindra Jadeja (1/41) gave away 77 runs in their quota of eight overs together.

Watson and Khawaja (14) then opened the innings against Ashish Nehra (1-32) and Jasprit Bumrah (1-43), and got off to a blistering start.

The duo punished the Indian pacers, especially Watson was severe on the youngster taking his two overs for 26 runs. Nehra sent back Khawaja in the 3rd over, caught behind, but Watson continued his onslaught on the bowling in the company of Shaun Marsh (9) as the Australian 50-mark came up in the 6th over.

Jadeja and Yuvraj Singh (1-19) too came on to bowl but none of them could stop Watson mayhem. He put on 53 runs for the 2nd wicket with Marsh off only 27 balls, even as Ashwin bowled the left-hander in the 8th over.

It brought on a short passage of play as the spinners got on top, slowing the run-rate a bit. While Jadeja proved economical, Yuvraj had Glenn Maxwell (3) caught at covers in the 10th over, as Australia were placed at 80/3 at the half-way mark in the innings.

Watson then stepped on the accelerator, and in doing so brought up his fifty off 37 balls in the 11th over. Two overs later, he survived a life as Virat Kohli dropped him at deep cover off Hardik Pandya (0-24). He was unbeaten on 56 at that time.

He really made good use of that life, and put on 93 runs off 47 balls for the 4th wicket with Travis Head (26 runs, 19 balls, 1 four, 1 six. The duo bid their time early on, and opened up in the latter half of the innings as the run-rate for their partnership soared to 11.87. Jadeja finally bowled Head in the 17th over but the damage had already been done.

It was also in that same over that Watson scored his maiden T20I hundred, off 60 balls, surpassing his previous best of 81. With three overs remaining in the innings then, Australia were placed at 168/4 and the batsmen then further upped the ante.

29 runs came off those overs then, as Watson remained unbeaten while Chris Lynn (13) was dismissed in the final over of the innings, caught in the deep by Jadeja off Bumrah. Cameron Bancroft (0*) was the unbeaten batsman.

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