Virat Kohli's fighting 46-ball 77* went in vain as England eased to an 8-wicket win in the 3rd T20I of the 5-match series at Motera on Tuesday. England now lead the hosts 2-1.
England win the third @Paytm #INDvENG T20I & go 2-1 up in the series. #TeamIndia will look to win the next game & take the series into the decider.— BCCI (@BCCI) March 16, 2021
Scorecard 👉 https://t.co/mPOjpECiha pic.twitter.com/zkN1xauHQL
Batting first, India managed to post 156-6, courtesy Kohli's innings, after a seemingly painful top-order collapse. KL Rahul disappointed again, this time with a 4-ball duck. Rohit Sharma, who came in for Suryakumar Yadav, couldn't last long either, falling prey to some smart bowling by Mark Wood for 15 runs (17 balls).
Last match hero Ishan Kishan (4) came one down and got out while trying to accelerate the run rate which was languishing at around 4 runs per over in the power play. When Kishan took his walk back, India were tottering at 24-3 in 5.2 overs.
A lot was expected from Rishabh Pant and when he took guards alongside Kohli, it seemed like India's prayers had been answered. However, an unfortunate run out while trying to squeeze out a third run off a fielding lapse brought down the curtains on his brief 20-ball 25-run knock.
By the 15th over, when Shreyas Iyer was dismissed for 9 runs, India couldn't have a projected score of more than 120-130. At 86-5 in 14.3 overs, Skipper Kohli needed some support from the other end to play his natural game. Hardik Pandya played the role of a second fiddle during his 15-ball 17. Kohli unleashed a barrage of shots in the last 5 overs, where India minted off 69 runs, to take the total to 156.
However, the runs on board weren't enough for an England team which read the pitch well and looked solid at the top order. Even though Yuzvendra Chahal got Jason Roy (9) early, Jos Buttler, single-handedly, took the match away from the hosts with a prolific 52-ball 83*.
Jonny Bairstow's 28-ball 40* was equally important to keep the hosts far from even smelling a chance of win. For once, India must have terribly missed the ever-cheering Motera crowd which has often played a massive role in boosting the team morale.
India play their 4th match on March 18, and will need to win it to stay in the series.