India wins by 5 runs to level T20 series vs England
NAGPUR, India (AP) — India won the second Twenty20 international by five runs to stay alive in the three-match series after choking England’s chase on Sunday and restricting the tourists to 139-6 in reply to India’s 144-8.
Joe Root and Ben Stokes scored 38 runs each but their efforts went in vain as the hosts leveled the series at 1-1.
Ashish Nehra (3-28) and Jasprit Bumrah (2-20) did the damage for India, which survived the last over with England needing eight runs to overtake India’s total.
“Bumrah produced a match-winning over on a tough wicket,” England captain Eoin Morgan said. “It was unbelievably disappointing to lose but we still have a chance to win the series in Bangalore (on Wednesday).”
Earlier, opener Lokesh Rahul had scored 71 after India was put into bat.
Chasing 145 on a slow track, England struggled as the experienced Nehra accounted for both openers — Jason Roy (10) and Sam Billings (12) — in the fourth over.
Morgan (17) and Root then put on 43 runs for the third wicket, as England’s 50 came up in the ninth over. At the halfway stage, England was 65-2 as Suresh Raina (0-30) bowled a tight four-over spell.
The game turned as Amit Mishra (1-25) had Morgan caught at deep midwicket immediately in the 11th over, and he almost dismissed Stokes as well. The left-hander was bowled for a first-ball duck but survived because Mishra had overstepped.
Stokes then put on 52 runs with Root for the fourth wicket as England crossed 100 in the 15th over.
A total of 41 runs was needed off the last five overs. Nehra returned to trap Stokes lbw in the 17th over and the slide began.
Root was unable to get the big shots out even as Jos Buttler (15) hit a four and six each to relieve some pressure. They took six runs off Nehra’s penultimate over, leaving Bumrah to defend eight runs off the last six balls.
Bumrah trapped Root lbw off the first delivery of the 20th over, with the umpire failing to notice an inside edge, and then bowled Buttler three balls later as he gave away only two runs with his clever variations.
Moeen Ali (1 not out) and Chris Jordan (0 not out) were left stranded at the crease.
Bumrah has made a habit of keeping things tight at the death in limited-overs cricket.
“I tried to remember the past where I have done well in such situations,” Bumrah said. “The pitch was a bit slow, and slower deliveries were difficult to get away. So that is what I tried to bowl.”
Earlier, India had got off to a quick start as Rahul and Virat Kohli (21) put on 30 off 25 balls. The Indian skipper survived a dangerous-looking lbw shout, and hit two fours as well as a six before holing out to long-on off Chris Jordan (3-22).
Rahul then put on 26 runs with Suresh Raina (7), before Raina was caught at long-on off Adil Rashid (1-24), while Ali (1-20) trapped Yuvraj Singh lbw as India was reduced to 69-3 in the 11th over.
India’s 50 had come up in the seventh over, and it labored across 100 in the 14th over, thanks mainly to Rahul who scored his maiden international T20 half-century off 32 balls. He put on 56 runs for the fourth wicket with Manish Pandey (30).
The duo fell in a bid to accelerate the scoring, and it led to a flurry of late wickets with Hardik Pandya (2), Mishra (0) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (5) all run out in the final over.
Skipper Kohli was happy with his team’s performance, despite the unconvincing batting performance and some shoddy fielding.
“There are some things we need to tighten up for Bangalore,” Kohli said. “The spinners bowled exceptionally in the middle overs.”
England won the first T20 by seven wickets.