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India vs England 3rd T20I, 2021: Jos Buttler slams career-high 83* to lead England 2-1 in the series

Brief Scores: India 156/6 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 77*, Rishabh Pant 25; Mark Wood 3/31, Chris Jordan 2/35)
England 158/2 in 18.2 overs (Jos Buttler 83*, Jonny Bairstow 40*; Washington Sundar 1/26, Yuzvendra Chahal 1/41)

England have bounced back with a comprehensive win in the third outing to keep the series alive in their favor. The Eoin Morgan-led side opted to bowl first and restricted India to 156/6 in the first innings, courtesy of the bowling exhibited by the pace duo of Mark Wood and Chris Jordan who struck the early breakthroughs.

However, a Virat Kohli-show ensured that India forced their way to a competitive total in 20 overs, setting a target of 157 runs, with the skipper scoring his 27th fifty in the T20I Internationals. England were troubled initially by the Bhuvneshwar’s inswingers, finding it difficult to score runs in the first couple of overs, but took off to another note from the 3rd over itself.

Though England lost the wickets of Jason Roy (9) and Dawid Malan (18), the duo of Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow didn’t allow India to cement a comeback in the last ten overs and wrapped the innings with 8 wickets in hand and ten deliveries to spare.

Here are the talking points from India vs England 3rd T20I –

English bowlers topple the Indian top-order

The visitors wreaked havoc on the Indian batting attack in a fashion similar to what they essayed in the first T20I.

Mark Wood exercised on the pace and bounce offered, bowling out KL Rahul for a duck, and then forcing a short delivery on Rohit Sharma (15) to get him caught to Jofra Archer at short leg. With the Indian scorecard now 2/20 in 4.4 overs, what added to their misery was southpaw Ishan Kishan’s dismissal to Chris Jordan in a span of few overs.

The Men in Blue had lost 3 wickets in the first six overs, and the situation only worsened with Rishabh Pant’s departure in the 12th over, followed by that of Shreyas Iyer while he was batting on 9 runs, bringing the Indian tally to 86/5 in 14.3 overs.

Although Mark Wood had a bit of an expensive run at the later stages of the game, he eventually finished with figures of 3/31, including the wicket of Iyer in the 15th over. Chris Jordan, with figures of 2/35, followed his pacer colleague while Jofra Archer (0/32) remained wicket-less in his quota of four overs.

Adil Rashid bowled at the right areas in the concluded outing but couldn’t grab a solitary wicket to his name. The likes of Ben Stokes and Sam Curran remained wicket-less as well in the couple overs that they bowled.

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Virat Kohli’s 27th fifty powers India to 156 runs

The Indian skipper had a lot on his shoulders at the time of his arrival at the crease. Post Ishan Kishan’s impressive debut in the previous T20I, where he scored a half-century and set the stage for an Indian triumph, the southpaw was inducted into the side for the 3rd match are well. However, the 22-year-old couldn’t script a similar performance as he got dismissed when batting on four runs while trying to hook a delivery of Chris Jordan.

Coming in at No 4, Kohli kept the scorecard ticking from an end by initially adding 28 runs off 29 deliveries, then switched onto his aggressive mode by smashing 49 runs off the next 17 deliveries. The Delhi lad forged a 38-run stand with Rishabh Pant for the 3rd wicket, which was followed by 22 and 70-run partnerships with Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya respectively.

Kohli remained unbeaten throughout, compiling a 46-ball 77 with 8 fours and 4 sixes, his 27th fifty in the T20 International. Interestingly, 18 of his 27 fifties have come when no other Indian batter has managed to register a half-century.

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Buttler, Bairstow weave a match-winning show

Buttler hammered his way to an unbeaten 83, his highest score in T20 Internationals, to set a winning foundation for the tourists in the 157 run chase. The opener looked in great intent from the first few deliveries, taking on leggie Yuzendra Chahal with a stepped out six over long-on, followed by frequent boundaries off Chahal and Shardul Thakur’s deliveries.

While Buttler wasn’t accompanied well by the duo of Jason Roy and Dawid Malan, as they were out 9 and 18 runs respectively, it’s his cracking 77-run partnership with No 4 batter, Jonny Bairstow, that fully snatched away any chances of Indian conquest. Bairstow started slow, with only 16 runs off 17 deliveries, but paced up from the 18th over with a four off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, then consecutive fours off Shardul Thakur in the 19th over to finish off the chase for England.

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V Shashankhttps://www.mpl.live/
A cricket aficionado who has been following the game since the historic Ashes 2013-14. "People throw stones at you, you turn them into milestones." - Sachin Tendulkar

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