Drama! Drama! Drama! A last-over nail-biting encounter at Motera saw India edge out England by 8 runs to level the five-match T20I series 2-2. Batting first, India rode on Suryakumar Yadav’s 31-ball 57 to post 185-8. Eoin Morgan’s team got a few of its players starting out well but, in the end, none of them could stay back to pull it over the line as they concluded on 177-8 in 20 overs.
Suryakumar Yadav’s first ever international knock couldn’t have come at better time than this! The youngster, who debuted in the 2nd T20I but didn’t get a chance to bat, was side-lined in the third match. However, that didn’t deter him from firing all cylinders when he finally got a chance tonight to star in the win.
Yadav got off the mark, his first ever international runs, with a stupendous six off Jofra Archer. From there onwards, there was no looking back for the talented Mumbaikar. In the 27-ball 42-run partnership with KL Rahul, Yadav contributed 31 runs off 17 balls.
W.O.W! 👏😎— BCCI (@BCCI) March 18, 2021
Zero jitters from @surya_14kumar as he creams a SIX on the first ball he faces in international cricket! 👌👌@Paytm #INDvENG #TeamIndia
Follow the match 👉 https://t.co/TYCBHIV89r pic.twitter.com/MoJMbJ3q2O
Rahul, once again disappointed with a 17-ball 15. Rohit Sharma (12) also couldn’t last long enough, hitting it straight back to Archer for a soft dismissal. However, Rishabh Pant (30 off 23) and Shreyas Iyer (37 off 18) took over from Yadav to extend the momentum and guided India to a winning total.
India’s bowling was a little below par, having had a difficult time in the last 10 overs. The dew factor was setting in and the bowlers found it difficult to grip the ball properly. “The turf was better than any other game but the dew factor was massive. Thankfully the wicket allowed us to get to that total. Surya batted outstandingly well, similar to Ishan (Kishan). We were quite stunned with his start (referring to the six),” Virat Kohli said after the match.
For England, even though Jason Roy played a solid 27-ball 40 at the top, Jos Buttler (9) and Dawid Malan (14) couldn’t manage enough to pose difficulties to the Indian team. Had it not been for Ben Stokes’ incredible hitting (46 off 23) alongside Jonny Bairstow (25 off 19) and Jofra Archer’s last over muscle power (18 off 8), India would have had it easier to sail through the finishing line.
Among Indian bowlers, Hardik Pandya was spectacular. While everyone went for plenty, his economy rate of 4RPO and figures of 2-16 showed the contribution he had made in his 4 overs.
Shardul Thakur, even though got us all worried giving away 14 runs off his first 4 balls in the final over (England needed 23 runs), he did fairly well otherwise to remove two of the strongest English players – Stokes and Eoin Morgan (4) in consecutive deliveries to bring India back into the match after the Stokes-Bairstow 65-run show (36 balls).
India and England now play the series decider on Sunday, March 20th.