Ruturaj Gaikwad smashed Aaron Hardie for a third six in the 18th over of India’s innings in the third T20I against Australia, reaching a first T20I century off 52 balls.
Gaikwad teed off at the end of the innings in Guwahati, taking India from 155-3 at the beginning of the 18th over to 222-3 at the end of the 20th. At the beginning of Hardie’s 18th, Gaikwad was on 71 off 44 having just seen off Jason Behrendorff’s final over in an economical spell.
He smashed Hardie’s first ball straight back over his head for the first six of the over, before missing a wide which Hardie had to bowl again. His re-bowl was a short ball outside off, dispatched over deep midwicket for an even bigger boundary.
A four and a dot ball later, Gaikwad hit the biggest six of the lot. Hardie bowled full and wide on the off side, to which Gaikwad stepped across his stumps and powerfully flicked it behind square on the leg side, watching it sail into the crowd. Two off the following delivery completed a 25-run over for Hardie.
However, the worst was yet to come for Australia. After Nathan Ellis conceded 12-runs from the penultimate over of the innings, Glenn Maxwell was handed the ball for the 20th, having not bowled previously in the innings. Gaikwad dispatched him for another three sixes in the over, the first of which brought up his hundred, with two fours also making up a 30-run over.
Gaikwad’s innings was his second big score in a row for the series, he hit 58 off 43 balls in the second T20I on Sunday (November 26). His powerful finish left Australia needing to chase 223 to avoid conceding the series.
Watch: Ruturaj Gaikwad hits Aaron Hardie for third six in one over
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