Shami's 1-over haul helps India beat Aussies in T20 practice

Indian captain Rohit Sharma, left, gestures to teammate Mohammed Shami following the ICC T20 World Cup warm-up cricket match between Australia and India at the Gabba in Brisbane, Australia, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. (Dave Hunt/AAP Image via AP) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Mohammed Shami snared three wickets and had a hand in a run-out in a last-over cameo that helped India to a six-run win over defending champion Australia in a practice match ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup on Monday.

It wasn't an official game so the wickets won’t go on his career record, but Shami will get a confidence boost out of the effort in his return from injury.

Australia was on 171-4 and needed just 16 from the last 12 balls at the Gabba to win, but lost six wickets in a late collapse to be bowled out for 180 in reply to India's 186-7.

It started when top-scorer Aaron Finch was bowled for 76, deceived by a slower inswinger from Harshal Patel.

Tim David was run out on the next ball in a stunning piece of fielding by Virat Kohli, who picked up and threw from side on in one motion to hit the stumps at the striker's end.

Kohli also took a leaping, one-handed catch just inside the boundary rope to complete the dismissal of Pat Cummins in the next over, one of three wickets for Shami, who returned 3-4 from his one over of involvement in the match.

India skipper Rohit Sharma said it was always the plan to use Shami very sparingly as he returned from injury, saving his fast yorkers for the last over to restrict the run flow.

“He’s coming back after a long time," Sharma said. “We wanted to just give him an over — he comes and bowls at the death, give him a bit of a challenge. And you saw what the did!"

Sharma said he was content with India's batting, with opener KL Rahul hitting three sixes and six boundaries in his 33-ball 57 and Suryakumar Yadav scoring 50 from 33 balls before he was dismissed two balls from the end.

Kane Richardson returned 4-30 as a replacement for Josh Hazlewood, one of four players rested by Australia. Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, spinner Adam Zampa and opener David Warner also watched from the sidelines.

Australia opens its title defense Saturday against New Zealand in Sydney, and Finch said his lineup was well prepared despite coming off a 2-1 series loss to England and the late collapse against India.

“Would have been nice to get us over the line, but you can’t win a World Cup in a practice game," Finch said. “Overall, I think we’re in a good spot.”

India will have another warmup match on Wednesday against New Zealand ahead of its Super 12 opener against archrival Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

New Zealand lost a practice match against South Africa by nine wickets on Monday at Allan Border Field in Brisbane. Rilee Rossouw scored an unbeaten 54 to guide South Africa to 100-1 chasing 98 for victory.


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