Brief Scores from India vs England 5th T20I: India 224/2 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 80*, Rohit Sharma 64; Adil Rashid 1/31, Ben Stokes 1/26)
England 188/8 in 20 overs (Dawid Malan 68, Jos Buttler 52; Shardul Thakur 3/45, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/15)
Team India wrapped up the 5-match T20Is in what was a premium contest for the fans to witness. A must-win match at stake, the only change in the Indian lineup for the fifth T20I was the inclusion of pacer T Natarajan in place of opener KL Rahul, who had been a mere shadow of himself in the last four T20Is.
Losing the toss in the series finale, India were put to bat first, a decision that skipper Virat Kohli welcomed with open arms. Promoting himself up the order to fit Suryakumar Yadav at No 3, Virat (80*) forged a match-winning partnership of 94 runs alongside Rohit Sharma (64), that was followed by equally enthralling knocks from Suryakumar (32) and later Hardik Pandya (39*).
India managed to post a 225-run target for the visitors that seemed way out of reach as the match progressed. Other than the twin fifties from Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan, the English side failed to come up with comprehensive tallies and could accumulate only 188 runs at the expense of 8 wickets in the finale in Ahmedabad.
Here are the talking points from India vs England 5th T20I –
Rohit, Virat render a colossal start
Virat Kohli’s decision to promote himself at the opening slot proved to be a masterclass for the Men in Blue.
The skipper initially played as the second fiddle to opener Rohit Sharma, who went bonkers post the second over, smashing his way to a 34-ball 64 with 4 fours and 5 sixes. Hitman, as fans call him by, looked in complete control as he belted the English bowling attack to complete his 21st fifty in T20 Internationals.
The duo added 94 runs to the opening stand that played a massive role in the series decider that set the foundation for a 225-run target.
Virat, having scored 231 runs in the five innings this series, now holds the tag for most runs scored in a bilateral T20I series. He surpassed the likes of KL Rahul and Colin Munro, who initially held 224 and 223 runs to their names respectively.
Also, the Delhi lad now holds the record for most fifties (12) and most runs (1464) as a captain in the T20 Internationals. All in all, it was a perfect day for the Indian skipper to wrap up the 20-over series.
Pandya powers the side past 220
Major credits to Hardik Pandya’s fiery knock at the fag end of the Indian innings for driving the hosts to a majestic total – India’s highest run tally against England in the T20Is.
Coming into bat post Suryakumar’s dismissal after a quickfire 32 in the 14th over, Hardik struck his first boundary of the match off Jofra Archer in the final delivery of the 15th over. He then smashed back to back fours in the immediate over that followed to take his tally to 15 runs of 8 deliveries.
The power-hitter then smacked anything that came on his radar that comprised an additional count of a four and later 2 sixes, followed by few singles to remain unbeaten throughout the innings on 39 runs off merely 17 deliveries.
Buttler, Malan’s fifties end up in vain
Chasing 225 runs needed a flier start from England whose hopes were affected to some extent after Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled past Jason Roy on the very second delivery of the innings.
The onus was now on the duo of an in-form Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan, who hadn’t fired to the potential so far in this series.
However, they started churning runs from the initial few deliveries in their partnership to take England to 130 runs in 12.5 overs. Malan notched a 46-ball 68, his first fifty-plus tally in this series, studded with 9 fours and 2 sixes. Buttler didn’t shy away from the contest as well, clobbering 52 off 34 deliveries with 2 fours and 4 sixes.
Target didn’t seem impossible for the visitors as they needed 98 runs off 48 deliveries but then Kohli decided to bring in Bhuvneshwar for his 3rd over, who pulled the brakes on England’s scoring by dismissing Buttler on a hard length delivery that forced him out to Hardik Pandya at long-off.
It was only a span of a few overs that Shardul came into the wicket-taking spree. Bowling in the 15th over, the pacer first bagged the wicket of Jonny Bairstow and managed to uproot Malan on the final ball of the over.
Malan and Buttler’s dismissal was met with further shock of skipper Eoin Morgan’s ouster on a solitary run thereby shunting their chances for conquest in the decider. England then lost the wickets of Ben Stokes (14), Chris Jordan (11) and Jofra Archer (1), and although Sam Curran struck two sixes, the visitors could aggregate only 188 runs and eventually lost the battle by 36 runs.