Australian captain Aaron Finch found form at the right time before India took four wickets with the final four balls to record a thrilling six-run win in a T20 warm-up clash at the Gabba.
Finch (76 off 54 balls) had not posted a score in four previous T20 internationals but he played an assortment of trademark thumps, flicks and classic cover drives to get among the runs ahead of Australia’s T20 World Cup opener against New Zealand at the SCG on Saturday.
With Australia cruising at 4-171, the 35-year-old opener was bowled in the penultimate over before Indian superstar Virat Kohli ran out Tim David with a direct hit to leave the hosts needing 11 runs off the final over to win.
Kohli took a stunning one-handed catch on the long-on boundary to get rid of Pat Cummins off Mohammad Shami (3-4 off one) from the third ball of the last over.
Ashton Agar was run out before Shami cleaned up Josh Inglis and Kane Richardson with perfect yorkers in the only over he bowled after coming on as a substitute.
While a warm-up game and not an official international, both sides were aiming to get in a groove before the World Cup.
Glenn Maxwell (23) whacked himself in the head when a switch hit deflected near his eye but unfurled more of his bread-and-butter shot to reach double figures for Australia for the first time in eight innings.
Opener Mitch Marsh (35 off 18 balls) was in superb form for Australia in the run chase but still has not bowled in a match since injuring an ankle in August.
Indian opening batsman KL Rahul was in the mood to make a statement after Australia won the toss and bowled.
Rahul had made four T20 international half-centuries in his previous six games and continued that form in a blistering 57 from 33 deliveries.
Suryakumar Yadav (50 off 33) wreaked havoc at the death to lift India to a competitive total.
Kane Richardson (4-30) was Australia’s best bowler after topliner Josh Hazlewood was rested.
The Melbourne Renegades paceman is not expected to play many games during the World Cup unless there is an injury to one of Australia’s pace trio of Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Cummins but he showed he will be ready to contribute if called upon.
Australia allrounder Marcus Stoinis has been managed with his bowling input since returning to the team from a side strain.
He bowled on this occasion, but it was an inauspicious start with Rahul taking 20 runs from his opening over.