India win first T20I by 5 wickets
Yuvraj Singh put in an allround performance as India beat England by 5 wickets in the first T20I at Pune on Thursday.
England got off to a blistering start after being put in to bat first as Alex Hales (56, 35b, 4x7, 6x2) and Luke Wright (34, 21b, 4x3, 6x1) plundered the bowling, adding 68 manic runs in a 7 over partnership for the 2nd wicket.
Yuvraj's introduction in the attack helped Dhoni pull the run rate back. The pressure saw three Englishmen perishing off Yuvraj's next two overs, England sliding to 100/4 from 89/1. Yuvraj finished with 3/19, bettering his previous best of 3/23 in T20Is.
Ashok Dinda struck twice in the 19th over, Virat Kohli taking a great catch running in from long off to dismiss Tim Bresnan. But debutant Parwinder Awana was taken for 17 in the final over by Jos Buttler (33*, 21b, 6x3) as England posted a total of 157/6 in their 20 overs.
Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane made a great start, adding 42 in 4 overs before Bresnan struck in the 5th over, taking his first and second wickets of the tour as India stuttered to 44/2. Yuvraj Singh ran rampant on his IPL homeground, slamming 38 (21b 4x2, 6x3) as he got stuck into slow left armer Danny Briggs. He threatened to finish the game well before time but his attempt to hit consecutive sixes off Luke Wright ended in a well held catch by Stuart Meaker at deep square leg. Yuvraj added 49 with Kohli for the third wicket in just 30 balls, becoming the third Indian after Gautam Gambhir (851) and Suresh Raina (794) to cross 700 runs in T20Is in the course of his knock.
Meaker was back in action a few overs later, getting Kohli to chop one onto his stumps, leaving India at 110/4. MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina took India closer from there in a brisk 38 run partnership for the 5th wicket off 5 overs. An eagerness to pinch singles saw Raina being run out in the 18th over with just 10 needed for a win. Dhoni finished off the chase in the same over, hitting two fours and running two to seal the 5 wicket win.
The win put India 1-0 ahead in the two T20I series. Wins in the second T20I and in the two T20Is against Pakistan will push India to the no.1 on the ICC's Twenty20 Team Rankings.