England suffered a rare setback in Twenty20 cricket when it failed to match India’s clout in an entertaining series finisher in Ahmedabad.
The men of Eoin Morgan had only lost one of their previous 10 series, also to India in 2018, however, could not keep up the rapid pace of the first 30 overs and went back 36 runs when the hosts sealed a 3-2 score.
India collected 224 for two, Virat Kohli carried his racket for 80 not out when England’s attack took 11 sixes and 18 fours, but had to fight for their prey.
A score of 130 between a resurgent Dawid Malan (68) and Jos Buttler (52) gave them every chance of a remarkable chase , but two big overs by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur removed both of them from the equation.
Kumar finished the match with two wins for 15, which was a high score match when England’s once v The promising chase fell off a cliff and ended for eight.
Despite the result, Chris Jordan was the most memorable moment of the day. He produced an incredible one-handed catch and drop to fire Suryakumar Yadav – the latest in a career highlight role from world-class fields.
Kohli announced at the throw that he would open his eyelashes after KL Rahul had gotten out of the job and performed the role perfectly.
When he knocked through the full 20 overs, he allowed Rohit Sharma, Yadav and Hardik Pandya to tee off around him but still ended up with a hit rate of almost 154. Combining aggression and anchoring, it was impeccable.
Rohits 64 scored the highest payout in the first nine overs, with five sixs and four fours setting the tone for a high-scoring inning. An early blow from Adil Rashid got him in the mood and his ability to beat Mark Wood his length made England the fastest and most fuel-efficient bowler in the series a non-factor.
His attack eventually ended when he got a Ben Stokes leg cutter pulled into his stumps, but the stage was set at 94 for one.
Yadav made good use of it, hitting Rashid on his first three balls for two sixes and then taking Jordan for three consecutive limits. It took Jordan’s moment of sheer inspiration to cut it short and sprint around from Long-On to get another six out of the air with one hand. His momentum carried him over the perimeter rope at speed, but he carefully flicked the ball at the waiting Jason Roy, who laughed in disbelief as he completed his simple part of the deal.
IMPRESSIVE! INCREDIBLE! “Take a bow, Chris Jordan! “It goes down as Roy’s catch, but CJ did most of the work! 🤯📺 Check out #INDvENG 👉 https://t.co/bT0CP9Q8No 📱 Live Blog 👉 https://t.co/EwWilwW8ok📋 Scorecard 👉 https://t.co/KXn2EYutxL pic.twitter.com/oQVGTzDO7M an
England couldn’t enjoy the moment for long, and Kohli drove to his best result of the series when he and Pandya (39) stacked up to 81. Wood and Jordan went wicket-free for 53 and 57, respectively, leaving a massive target.
The chase had to start in top gear but Roy was picked up as the second ball by Kumar and swung at the fences. Malan knew his latest form wasn’t up to his world rankings and only made one of his first five deliveries. With the pressure built up, he caught fire and took Pandya past for 18 a second as he gave the middle of his racket a solid workout.
Buttler had to wait for his share of the strike but was soon in Washington Sundar and Thakur. From promising beginnings, England finished the power play two runs before comparing it to 62 for one.
Buttler’s eyes lit up at the introduction of Rahul Chahar’s leg twist and he made use of three muscular sixes within six balls.
Halfway through the chase was still at 104, and Malan took another 16 when T Natarajan turned around innocently. For the eleventh time in 24 appearances, he had the opportunity to celebrate half a century, but this time there was still a lot to do.
Buttler followed him to the landmark, a little faster in only 30 balls, but fell over in the 13th, when Kumar swung it for his side. Not only had he left the Dangerman hanging on the rope for a long time, he also hit the brakes with just three runs. Buttler seemed to be sharing some harsh words with Kohli as he left, but his race was driven.
Thakur did things effectively, removing Jonny Bairstow cheaply and then taking out Malan’s mid-stump as he tried to get England back into battle to beat. He had adjusted his own quality for those with short memories, but the result was gone.
Kumar won for excellent twos for 15 and Morgan, Stokes, Jofra Archer and Jordan were all killed in a one-sided close to a high class series Life.
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