Ahmedabad: There so many expectations regarding the match that this match would go down to the wire as top2 T20I ranked teams were facing off for a vital series win before going into the ICC T20 World Cup later this year. As usual, Morgan won the toss and invited India to bat first. India had one change as they included Natarajan at KL Rahul’s expense while England fielded the same XI.
Hit… Hit… Hit – Team India Mantra today while batting
Riding on Rohit’s dashing 64 off 34 balls, Surya’s blazing 32 off 17, Hardik’s quickfire 39* off 17, and Kohli’s captain knock of 80* off 52 deliveries, India posted a massive total of 224 runs on the board. India’s innings saw the ball flying out of the ground 11 times, while 18 boundaries were scored in those 20 overs. In the absence of KL, Virat opened the innings along with Rohit, and the Cap-ViceCap pair dominated English Bowlers right from the start of the innings.
It all started with a glorious cover drive from Kohli off Archer. Rohit, too has opened his boundary count with a 4 through covers off Archer. In the next over, Rohit smacked Rashid’s full delivery to the deep mid-wicket boundary region. From that point, there was no looking back for the duo. Both kept scoring boundaries as frequently as they rotated the strike.
Pull shots, Hooks, cover drives, Cuts, Slog shots, Straight Drives, and what not? The duo has played all the shots from the cricket textbook. Rohit’s straight drive off 150+kph delivery bowled by Wood was the highlight of the match. Rohit got to his 50 with a six by a flick off Curran’s bowling. Finally, Stokes got rid of Sharma with a slow ball that bounced very little and caught Rohit’s edge to get deflected onto the stumps.
Surya, Hardik didn’t let the run-rate drop after the fall of wickets
Surya continued from where he left in the last match and very soon outscored his captain. Kohli completed his half-century by running a double off Curran. In an attempt to pick up a length ball over long-on, Surya had hit a ball wide of long-on, but Jordan covered a lot of distance before catching the ball and passing it to Roy as he was going outside the boundary line due to momentum.
Hardik was promoted up the order to free his arms and get his team to a big total. After the arrival of Hardik at the crease, Kohli started shifting the gears and started hitting the ball hard. Hardik was right into the business as he managed to get boundaries almost every oddball. He has hit two consecutive sixes against Jordan. Kohli hit two boundaries in the last over and ended his innings at 80* with the help of 7 boundaries and two sixers. Every batsman from India has hit at least two sixes today in the innings.
English batsmen except Buttler-Malan fall prey to Bhuvi and Co.
Chasing monstrous 225, England received a setback in the very first over. Bhuvi bowled Roy out of the contest with a beautiful inswinger in the first over. Malan joined Buttler in the middle and started counter-attacking the Indian bowlers. The pair added 130 runs to the 2nd wicket in less than 14 overs. Just at the moment when it was looking like the match was slipping out of India’s control, Bhuvi was brought back into the attack, and he dismissed Buttler. Thakur continued the pressure as he bowled with great consistency and got rewarded with Bairstow and Malan’s wickets in his next over.
Now England had two new batsmen at the crease. And RRR was increasing exponentially, and it didn’t work for their cause. Feeling the pressure, their batsmen went for wrong shots and paid the price with their wickets. Sam Curran’s 14 off three balls only helped England to reduce the deficit. England was restricted to 188 runs as India won the match with a margin of 36 runs. Bhuvaneshwar was the pick of the bowlers. He took two crucial wickets and conceded only 15 runs from his four overs in the match where boundaries were showered like floods.
With this win, India clinched the Paytm T20I series 3-2. Bhuvi was awarded Man of the Match for his economic 2/15, while Kohli was the only choice for Man of the Series as he scored 231 runs in the series at 100+ average.
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