Wade stars for Aussies in Sydney

VICTORIAN wicketkeeper Matthew Wade rewarded selectors’ faith in him with an explosive knock in the home side’s 31-run Twenty20 win over India in Sydney on Wednesday night.

Wade struck 72 runs from 43 balls in Australia’s 4/171 off 20 overs after India won the toss and elected to field on a wet and rainy night at ANZ Stadium.

In reply, India was restricted to 6/140 in their 20 overs to extend their disastrous tour of Australia after losing the Test series 4-0.

The hard-hitting Wade, who opened the batting for Australia with David Warner, was selected in the Twenty20 and One-day International squads ahead of veteran wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and did his Test selection prospects no harm.

Wade smashed five fours and three sixes in his impressive 72 before being bowled by Suresh Raina after a break in play due to rain.

Exciting opener Warner was caught by Raina off the bowling of Vinay Kumar for 25 from 14 balls including a four and two sixes.

The left-handed Warner struck his first six with an amazing switch-hitting effort when changing his grip and slogging the ball over the long-on boundary as a right-hander.

Batsman Travis Birt, selected in the squad following an impressive Big Bash campaign with the Hobart Hurricanes, scored 17 from 21 balls before he was also caught by Raina, this time off the bowling of Ravi Ashwin.

David Hussey struck a handy 42 runs from 30 balls before he was bowled with the second-last ball of the innings by India debutant Rahul Sharma. Hussey later took 2/4 from two overs with the ball including the wicket of Rohit Sharma, bowled for a first ball duck.

Australia captain George Bailey, making his international cricket debut in the match, was unbeaten on 12 from 11 balls with Mitchell Marsh adding a leg bye from the last ball of the innings.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni top-scored for his side with 48 from 43 balls.

Two of India’s other Test stars also chipped in with the bat, with the in-form Virat Kohli scoring 22 from 21 balls and Gautam Gambhir 20 from 14 balls.

Dangerous opening batsman Virender Sehwag only lasted the first three balls of India’s innings before being caught by Hussey at slip off the bowling of Brett Lee for four.

Australia’s James Faulkner (0/18 from two overs) and Xavier Doherty (0/23 from four overs) made their international Twenty20 debuts in the match, as well as veteran spinner Brad Hogg (1/21).

Australia: David Warner, Matthew Wade, Travis Birt, David Hussey, George Bailey (capt), Mitchell Marsh, Dan Christian, James Faulkner, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Xavier Doherty (12th man: Aaron Finch).

India: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (capt), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rahul Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Praveen Kumar (12th man: Saurabh Tiwary).

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