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2ND T20I, HIGHLIGHTS: KISHAN AND KOHLI HEROICS GUIDE INDIA TO 7-WICKET WIN

Ishan Kishan’s spectacular 32-ball 56 (5x4s, 4x6s) scripted India’s comeback story as the hosts defeated England by 7 wickets to level the 5-match T20I series 1-1 at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera, on Sunday.

The Jharkhand boy became the first Indian player since Ajinkya Rahane (2011) to score a 50 on debut in a T20I match. Chasing down England’s 164, India took 17.5 overs to seal the win and set the records straight.

Opening the innings, Kishan was in his destructive best today, barely showing any signs of nerves of a debutant. His huge sixes, including the one that took him to his 50, lit up the crowd and his heroics brought him the Man of the Match award. Skipper Virat Kohli, with whom he had shared a 94-run partnership off 56 balls, was heavily impressed with the southpaw.

“He has played international bowlers in the IPL with such dominance. We have seen him hit quality fast bowlers for big sixes in the past. He is a fearless character and should continue to back his instincts. He took calculated risks today and studied the game well,” Kohli said after the match.

The Skipper, himself, scored a well-paced 73* off 49 balls and became the first player to cross 3000 T20I runs during the knock. He also became the fastest captain to score 12000 international runs. Rishabh Pant chipped in too with a 13-ball 26 cameo.

Earlier, winning the toss and electing to bowl first, India did well to restrict England to 164-6 in 20 overs. Even though the bowlers went for runs in the beginning half of the innings, their strategy of pace variation to fox the England batters again and again worked perfectly well in the death overs.

Some sensible bowling in the last few overs thwarted England’s run flow and all they could manage was 35 runs off the final 5 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-28), Washington Sundar (2-29), Shardul Thakur (2-29) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1-34) pitched in with wickets. Hardik Pandya acted as the fifth pace option for India today and even though he went wicketless, Kohli was impressed with the way he bowled at the death.

“Credit to Hardik that he's bowling at least 3 overs for us in every game. And the next six to eight months, he's promised he's going to commit everything to be the allrounder the team needs in all three formats. He plays for the team in all times and such kind of players are priceless,” Kohli added.

India play their next match on March 16th on the same ground.