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5th T20I: Bowlers help India swat aside England after Malan-Buttler gave a scare


MARCH 20, 2021

Brief Scorecard: India 224 for 2 (Kohli 80*, Sharma 64) beat England 188 for 8 (Malan 68, Buttler 52, Thakur 3-45, Kumar 2-15) by 36 runs

Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya steered India to their highest T20I total against England. – Getty Images

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur inspired Team India’s comeback as they won the final T20I of the series by 36 runs to take the series 3-2 against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. England were bossing the game at one point when Dawid Malan and Jos Buttler were going great guns, but one wicket and it led to a collapse.

The win will prove to be a much-needed boost for the Indian team, with an eye on the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup as beating the No 1 side in the world is no mean feat, especially when they lost two games out of the first three in the series and winning the last two games batting first, which has been India’s Achilles heel in the shortest format.

India had a great start with the ball as Bhuvneshwar removed Jason Roy on the second ball of the innings. However, England then came storming back into the contest as the No 1 batsman in the world Malan finally showed why he is revered as one of the best batsmen in this format. He completed his fifty in just 32 balls and he became even more dangerous after that. On the other end, Buttler was in his demolition mode despite getting much of a strike during the partnership.

The duo stitched a 130-run partnership in just 12.4 overs and were getting away with the game. However, it was Bhuvneshwar again for India to provide the breakthrough and he got rid of Jos Buttler. It was just the opening India needed as one brought two, two brought four.

India got four wickets in 12 runs in 17 balls as they were on top. After which, it was just formalities as the run rate kept climbing and it was too much for the England’s middle and lower order to do.

Earlier, opening for the first time in T20Is together, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli put on a 94-run stand for the first wicket in just nine overs as the leadership duo took the game away from the opposition in the first half of their innings. After which the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya came and they toyed with England’s bowlers as they were unable to keep any of the four Indian batsmen at the bay. Kohli brought up his 28th half-century in the format and went to score 80 runs as India finished with a staggering total of 224 runs in their first innings.

Courtesy/Source: DNA / ESPNCricinfo