Ahmedabad: Standing neck-to-neck after the first two matches of the 5-match T20I series, India and English teams effectively turned this series into 3-match series. Both the teams had to go hard to pick up the crucial lead going deep into the series. World No.1 Team stepped up on this occasion and showed India their might with the bat. England won the toss and chose to bowl first. India struggled initially due to failure from the top order, but Kohli-Pant and Kohli-Pandya pairs got India to a respectable total of 156 runs with 30 and 70 run partnerships, respectively. Buttler(83*) and Roy(40*) made 156 look tiny as they chased the score comfortably with nine balls to spare.
Top Order worries continue for Team India
After being invited to bat first on the red soil track, Indian openers started cautiously as England bowlers were bowling with great discipline. India once again lost Rahul for a duck as Mark Wood got through Rahul’s defense to dismiss him. Rohit trying extravagant pull shot of express paced Wood’s short of good length delivery was caught at fine leg by Archer after scoring 15 runs. Ishan Kishan was also dismissed for a bouncer. Pant, along with Kohli, tried to steady the ship but bizarrely got run-out due to lack of coordination with the skipper. Iyer too failed, but with timely support from Hardik, Kohli helped India cross the 150 run-mark. Kohli stood not out on 77. Wood picked three wickets while Jordan had two under his belt.
Buttler-Bairstow show rocks Ahmedabad
India had very little to defend. Adding assault to the injury, Buttler started attacking right from ball one. Though Roy was struggling at the other end to score runs, no one could even trouble Buttler. Chahal removed Roy in the 4th over while Sundar saw off Malan during the 10th over. But there was no stopping to Buttler as he hit the ball to all corners of the park. Bairstow joined hands with Buttler, and there was no seeing back for the pair. Both were complimenting each other and striking the ball very well. While Buttler chose the aerial route to destroy Indian Bowler’s confidence, Bairstow found gaps at regular intervals as boundaries never stopped flowing. The pair added 77 runs for an unbeaten 3rd wicket. England won the match with nine balls to spare.
Buttler was awarded Man of the Match for his 80* and a catch and run out in the first innings.
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