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India claim thrilling last-ball win over Australia to complete series whitewash

Shane Watson silenced his doubters and all but booked himself a ticket to the World T20 in March with a sparkling century, but it mattered little as India pulled off a thrilling last-ball victory at the SCG to chase Australia's 198 and clinch a 3-0 series whitewash. 

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India sign off from series in a thriller

Posting a remarkable run chase, India pulls off a thrilling last-ball victory to take out the series 3-0 against Australia.

Requiring 22 from 12 balls, India then needed 17 off six thanks to Watson's penultimate over, going for just five runs.  

Andrew Tye's first two deliveries were clipped on the leg side for a four and then a towering six to the western side of the ground, to which the big West Australian could only put his hands on his hips. A scampered bye and two twos meant a couple of runs were required from the last ball. 

Sheer joy: Indian players celebrate their last ball win.
Sheer joy: Indian players celebrate their last ball win. Photo: Getty Images

Watson, the new skipper, set his field. He opted for four men in the ring to go with the mirror opposite on the other side.

However, Suresh Raina then slashed Tye over backward point for a match-winning boundary that sent a crowd of 34,527 - most of whom were Indians - into complete raptures.

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Leg-spinner Cameron Boyce (2/28 from four) kept Australia in the game, removing danger men Rohit Sharma (52 from 38) and Virat Kohli (50 from 36) in consecutive overs which somewhat stemmed the flow of runs, but the late heroics of Raina (49 not out from 25) and Yuvraj Singh (15 from 12) will leave Australia scratching their heads, thinking how it all went wrong.

"I knew we had a very good score, but I was certainly never ever overconfident in a way that I know how good the Indian batting is," Watson said. "We're going to learn a lot from what came out of tonight, especially from a bowling point of view. 

Gutted: Andrew Tye bowled the final over of the match, conceding the losing runs on the final delivery.
Gutted: Andrew Tye bowled the final over of the match, conceding the losing runs on the final delivery. Photo: Getty Images

Promoted to open the batting, Watson teed off with malice and a desire to prove why he should be on the plane to India come next month.

In 86 minutes, Watson slogged, punched and lofted his way to an unbeaten 124 from 71 deliveries, propelling Australia to 5/197.

His knock was the second highest T20 international score, trumped only by the man he replaced at the top of the order in Aaron Finch (156 v England). 

The irony was that as Watson tired, he held his shape even better, as he put on a clinic of clean-striking in front of the wicket before adoring fans who, if they didn't already rate him, surely left the SCG thinking highly of the 34-year-old who had just belted his first limited overs century at his adopted home ground. 

Watson hoicked a Ravindra Jadeja delivery square of the wicket for six and then pushed the next ball into the off-side for two to take him to 98.

A succulent sweep past a diving Yuvraj Singh prompted Watson to raise both arms and with it, became the first person to score a T20 international century on Australian soil.

While Watson hit himself into form, Usman Khawaja was unable to do the same on his T20 debut.

The last time Khawaja was dismissed below 50 was in October; before New Zealand, the West Indies and India had even graced our shores.

To see him trudge off in the teens (14), caught behind off Ashish Nehra, was not only a strange sight, but an unjust outcome for a player given his first chance in coloured clothing for the final game of the summer.

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