It was an amazing day for a sports fan, first that marathon of a match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and then this nailbiter to finish it off. India defeated England by 5 runs and hence kept their hopes of winning the T20 series alive.
India came into this match facing a possibility of losing the series and hence were under a tremendous amount of pressure. The toss went in favour of Eoin Morgan who decided to bowl first, making things even worse for Virat Kohli and co because of the dew factor later in the evening. The pitch seemed dry and hence both the teams decided to play an extra spinner.
India came out to bat filled with positivity with Kohli playing his shots. He even did a Rohit Sharma, hitting a short ball for six over mid off. But a slower ball from Chris Jordan saw his demise. Suresh Raina soon followed, not being able to read a googly from Adil Rashid. Yuvraj Singh looked out of sorts in his 12 ball stay at the crease and ended up giving his wicket to Moeen Ali. The two youngsters KL Rahul and Manish Pandey then tried to establish a good partnership. Rahul was in full form but Pandey was struggling to hit shots. In the end, India reached a par score of 144 at the loss of 8 wickets, courtesy Rahul’s 71 of 47 balls.
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England started the chase cautiously and both the openers observed the pitch carefully for the first 2 overs, but targeted Yuzvendra Chahal in the second over with both Jason Roy and Sam Billings hitting sixes off rather courageously flighted deliveries from Chahal. Just when England seemed to be firming their foot in the game, Nehra ji, as he is popularly known, brought all his experience into play and removed both the openers off successive deliveries and brought India back into the game. Eoin Morgan and Joe Root started building a partnership but Amit Mishra removed him and could have got Stokes as well, but as has been the case for India in the last few matches, he got bowled of a no ball.
Stokes started showing his powerplay, hitting two powerful sixes down the ground, threatening to take the game away from India. But then Kohli played a masterstroke by bringing back Nehra, who removed Stokes to bring India right back in the game. Jasprit Bumrah then started weaving his web around English batsmen, bowling slow balls and full length deliveries which were difficult to hit. Nehra went for 16 off the penultimate over, leaving 8 runs from the last over. Bumrah though had other ideas as he removed Root of the first ball of the over, who was unlucky to be adjudged LBW though. He then choked Butler and finally got him bowled of a length delivery which skitted on. Bumrah finished the over brilliantly as India won the match by 5 runs.
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England would have thought that they were favourites to win the game until the last over. With this victory, India draw the series 1-1 as both the teams head towards Bengaluru to play the decider. It is expected to be a high scoring match and lets hope that it is as good as this one.
Here are the highlights from the match