England square T20Is 1-1
Eoin Morgan struck a six off the last ball to lead England to a 6 wicket win, squaring the two T20I series 1-1 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday night.
Morgan finished on 49* (26b, 4x5, 6x2), finishing off the job after Michael Lumb (50, 34b, 4x6, 6x2) and Alex Hales (42, 33b, 4x4, 6x1) had set up a platform with a 80 run opening partnership.
India had fought back well to leave England needing 3 off the final delivery, one of the many recoveries they had made through the game. Having been put in to bat first, India had lost Ajinkya Rahane with the score still in single digits at the end of the second over. Virat Kohli fought back with a sublime 38 (20b, 4x7), displaying total control and dominance, stroking seven furious boundaries in his knock.
His knock was ended by a harsh LBW decision, also closing a 57 run partnership with Gautam Gambhir for the second wicket which came off just 30 deliveries. Gambhir (17, 27b, 4x1) and Yuvraj Singh (4, 5b) followed soon, leaving India at 88/4. Rohit Sharma (24, 19b, 4x1, 6x1) and Suresh Raina started the repair works, adding 20 for the fifth wicket. MS Dhoni provided much needed impetus when he walked in with the score on 108/5 in the 15th over. He blasted 38 (18b, 4x3, 6x2), lifting India to 177/8. Raina remained unbeaten on 35* (24b, 4x3, 6x1) at the other end.
Lumb and Hales took heavy toll on Ashok Dinda and Parwinder Awana when the chase began, motoring England to 79 for no loss after 8 overs, easily ahead of the required run rate of 9. The dew hindered the defense, the spinners Ashwin and Chawla finding it hard to control the ball and the fielders dropping crucial chances.
Dhoni turned to Yuvraj and the southpaw immediately had Lumb stumped before removing Luke Wright LBW in his second over and having Hales caught at the ropes in his final over. Yuvraj finished with 3/17, bettering his own best T20I bowling figures for the second time in three days, improving on the 3/19 he took at Pune in the first T20I.
He overcame the dew factor that the other bowlers simply couldn’t overcome. The lack of control saw England release the pressure with runs still flowing at one end when Yuvraj was drying them up at the other end.
The lack of tight overs kept England in the game, skipper Eoin Morgan playing a busy knock to keep the scorecard ticking. Samit Patel was surprisingly promoted ahead of Jos Buttler but wasn’t able to hit out, ultimately being dismissed after he was late on a pull shot, leaving his team needing 29 off 13b. The dismissal came at a great time for England though, Buttler getting stuck into Awana’s last over and ending with a six, to leave England to get 9 off the last over.
Dinda kept searching the Yorkers, getting the length but strayed in line, allowing the batsmen to run important singles. With 3 needed off the last ball, Dhoni, Raina, Gambhir, Yuvraj and Dinda converged for a prolonged discussion, but to no avail. Eoin Morgan swung and deposited a half volley over the sightscreen, taking England to 181/4 and sealing a 6 wicket win. Buttler was unbeaten on 15 at the other end (7b, 4x1, 6x1).
For his haul of 6 wickets for 36 runs in the series, Yuvraj was declared Man of the Series.