In a low scoring thriller at Nagpur, India, led by an emphatic bowling attack came up triumphs against a resurgent English side, after posting a competitive 144 on a sluggish track. The middle order conundrum for the hosts continued, even as Lokesh Rahul finally managed to break out of his recent slump in form with a gutsy knock.
Sportwalk takes you through all the details of the match that saw India winning their first ever Twenty20 International match at Nagpur, after having lost the last two.
A decent start
India got off to a decent start as the duo of Virat Kohli and Lokesh Rahul started cautiously, before the former was dismissed trying to hit over the long on boundary. Suresh Raina joined Rahul in the middle and things looked good for them as they reached the 50 run mark in 6.4 overs.
Pandey and Rahul build partnership
However, soon after, Raina found himself back in the hut trying to play a slog sweep off a flighted delivery from Adil Rashid, and hitting it straight into the hands of Jordan. And when Yuvraj Singh was dismissed, after missing a straight one onto his pads from Moeen Ali, Manish Pandey and Rahul strung together a little partnership, as they reached the 100 run mark in the 14th over.
The final fumble
Despite having a good platform to launch themselves into an attack in the last five, India failed to capitalize on the start as they lost Rahul in the 18th over. In what was expected to be a final flourish from Dhoni and Pandey, turned out to be an eventual disappointment as England managed to restrict India to 36 runs off the final 30 deliveries of the innings.
India strike early
The hosts needed a good start to defend the score that they had, and Ashish Nehra gave them just that. After starting with leg spinner Chahal, captain Kohli handed the ball to the experienced left arm pacer who dismissed both the openers, Roy and Billings, in the same over. Skipper Morgan and Joe Root steadied the ship as England crossed the 50 run mark in the eighth over.
Stokes joins the rescue party
Ben Stokes joined Root in the middle after Eoin Morgan was dismissed by Mishra for a 23-ball 17. Stokes, too, would have followed suit in the same over, as Mishra bowled a peach of a delivery only to find out that he had overstepped. After getting a lease of life, Stokes and Root sunk in, slowly but steadily moving to the target.
Jasprit Bumrah redefines death bowling
For what has been a long standing debate among critics, Jasprit Bumrah showed everyone a glimpse of his death bowling prowess as he came up with a sensational spell in the final few overs. After Ashish Nehra ended up with figures of 3-28 in his four overs, it was left to the young Jasprit Bumrah to defend 8 runs off 6 deliveries. Mixing it up with pace, line and length, he only gave away two runs in the last over, handing his team a five run win and a series equalizer.
India: 144/8 (20 overs)
Rahul: 71 (47), Pandey: 30 (26)
England: 139/6 (20 overs)
Stokes: 38 (27), Root: 38 (38)
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