England held their nerves and clinched a nerve-wracking thriller against India in the 2nd T20I to level the series at 1-1. It was a great performance from England. However, the Indian bowlers gave England a tough fight despite putting up a below-par score of 148. Alex Hales played a stunning knock which eventually helped England keep their hopes alive in the series. He remained unbeaten on 58 of just 41 deliveries which ensured a English victory.
After winning the toss it was English skipper Eoin Morgan who won the toss and opted to field. India got off to a poor start as the openers found it difficult to play their shots in the initial stages. Rohit was dismissed by Jake Ball with the score reading 7. Dhawan couldn’t quite continue his tenure in the crease as he was run out in the 5th over. The biggest setback for India was the wicket of KL Rahul. He has been a man in form and his wicket was very important for India’s cause. He was castled by a brilliant delivery from Liam Plunkett,
From there on it was a good partnership of 57 runs between captain Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina which got India back on track. Both batted quite sensibly and ensured India got back on track. However, he was dismissed by Adil Rashid with the score on 79. Virat Kohli batted well for his well crafted 47 but it came in 38 deliveries which never really allowed India to take their scoring rate over 8.
In the end, he scored 47 and former skipper Dhoni remained unbeaten on 32 of just 24 deliveries. He struck 5 fours and shared an unbeaten 38 runs partnership which helped India finish their 20 overs on 148/5 in their allotted 20 overs.
The most important wicket for India came when Jos Buttler played two false shots and ended up giving a straightforward catch to Virat Kohli. He missed it when he played the uppish shot for the first time. However, he wasn’t going to miss the next time around as grabbed the catch safely. The hosts lost Joe Root just when the spinner was introduced after the powerplay as England were reduced to 44/3 in 6.5 overs.
Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales shared an efficient partnership from there on which helped England stay in the game. The target wasn’t huge and sensible batting meant they would reach the target. Morgan was dismissed by Hardik Pandya for just 17. However, the match-turning innings was played by Jonny Bairstow. He smashed two consecutive sixes of Kuldeep Yadav to bring the target down to a manageable margin. Bhuvneshwar Kumar again helped India claw their way back in to the match with a stunning 17th over. He conceded just 7 runs.
Hales finishes it off
England was back in the game as Alex Hales turned the scales in their favour. He smashed a crucial boundary of the penultimate over of Umesh Yadav and then came back to seal the deal for the hosts. He smashed a monstrous six of the 1st delivery of the final over of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The match was almost sealed. He again smashed a boundary to eventually help England register a much-needed victory.
Here is what Eoin Morgan said at the post-match presentation
To come back from Old Trafford, we played quite well. When there is bounce in the wicket there is certainly a chance to take wickets upfront, and we did that. Willey did well and Jake Ball was great on debut. The momentum does ebb and flow, and the side that grabs the moment will definitely win the game. Alex was fantastic today. We normally play spin well, and the guys had good confidence coming into the series and they stuck to the plans and executed extremely well today.