India and England engaged in the first of the five T20I matches, all of which will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad. The Gujarat Cricket Association has allowed a 50% crowd in the world’s largest cricket stadium, which can hold more than 1.30 lakh people.
England’s Eoin Morgan won the toss and chose to field first, a decision that was then justified by his bowlers. Indian batsmen struggled to cope with the pace of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood and couldn’t recover from losing their top three batsmen in KL Rahul (1), Shikhar Dhawan (4), and Virat Kohli (0) for single-digit scores.
It was only because of contributions from Rishabh Pant (21), Hardik Pandya (19), and Shreyas Iyer that India made 124/7 in their 20 overs. Iyer made 67 in 48 balls with 8 fours and 1 six and though Jofra Archer tried his best with 3/23, India managed to get past the 120-run mark for some morale boost.
Jos Buttler Robbed Of A Six By KL Rahul’s Fielding Brilliance At The Boundary
Meanwhile, England’s innings got off to a flyer courtesy of Jason Roy and Jos Buttler, who added 72 runs in the first eight overs or so. It didn’t help that Indian bowlers were not tight and accurate in their lines and length, as Roy and Buttler went after the bowlers to put pressure on them.
Buttler made 28 in 24 balls with 2 fours and 1 six, before getting out LBW to Yuzvendra Chahal. This was Chahal’s 60th wicket in T20Is in his 100th international match for India. This took him past Jasprit Bumrah’s mark of 59 wickets to make him the highest wicket-taker in the T20I format for India.
However, Buttler could have added more runs in his kitty, but it wasn’t to be thanks to KL Rahul. It was the first ball of the fifth over being bowled by Axar Patel. Buttler hit it towards the long-off boundary and it was looking set to sail over the fielder’s head for a six.
But it was not to be as KL Rahul, stationed at that position, jumped high in the air, caught the ball, and threw it back in the field of play before falling outside the boundary on the ropes. It kept Buttler to two runs, instead of what should have been a six.
Here is the video of KL Rahul’s save: