Cricket-Yadav, Kohli power India to T20 series win over Australia

FILE PHOTO: Asian Cup - India v Pakistan

(Reuters) -Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli struck half centuries as India beat Australia by six wickets in their third and final Twenty20 International in Hyderabad on Sunday to claim a 2-1 series win.

India lost openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul cheaply in the powerplay, but Yadav and Kohli put on a century stand as they chased their target of 187, and Hardik Pandya hit the winning runs with a ball to spare.

Yadav hit five boundaries and as many sixes in a 36-ball 69 and was looking unstoppable until he fell to Josh Hazlewood, with Kohli then taking over as he hit 63 runs off 48.

Pandya (25) kept his cool while facing a relentless Australian attack after Kohli's dismissal in the final over and wrapped up the win with a boundary off Daniel Sams.

The win sealed India's first home T20 series victory against Australia since 2013.

"It was a great occasion. We wanted to put up a show, and we did that well," India captain Rohit said. "The biggest positive was different individuals stepping up with the ball and bat.

"In T20 cricket, the margins of error are very small. I thought we took our chances, we were brave. Sometimes it didn't come off, but that is a learning we will take."

Put in to bat, Australia had made a blazing start with opener Cameron Green smashing seven fours and three sixes in a 21-ball 52 after Axar Patel drew a mis-hit from skipper Aaron Finch (7) to provide India with a breakthrough.

The hosts found some more breathing space after Bhuvaneshwar Kumar removed Green and Glenn Maxwell (6) was run out by Axar, while Steve Smith (9) was stumped by Dinesh Karthik off Yuzvendra Chahal's delivery.

Josh Inglis (24) and Matthew Wade (1) both fell to Axar in the 14th over to leave the visitors at 117-6 before Tim David provided a late flourish by scoring 54 runs off 27 balls.

David added added 68 runs for the seventh wicket with Sams (28) and notched his first international half-century for Australia to help the visitors post a strong 186-7.

Australia won the series opener by four wickets, while India levelled the series with a six-wicket victory on Friday in a match reduced to eight overs per side.

"We thought it was a decent total, it got a bit dewy, and we knew we had to get wickets," Finch said. "You can't rely on containing India. At times, we were a bit sloppy in our execution.

"It was a great series... To be able to play three games against a world-class side has been great for this team."

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)