Young Jasprit Bumrah shone in the death like never before as his excellent final over ensured India sensationally edged out England by five runs in the second Twenty20 International to level the three-match series here tonight.
Needing eight runs off six balls, Bumrah, all of 23, perhaps bowled the over of his life as he restricted England to just two runs and end their innings at 139 for six in pursuit of 145.
The match seemed to be in England’s bag when Jos Buttler clobbered veteran Ashish Nehra for 16 runs with two sixes in the penultimate over. However, Bumrah had other ideas, eventually finishing with figures of 2/20 in 4 overs, while his senior colleague Nehra took 3/28.
This was after opener K L rahul stood out with a breezy 71 on a surface where shot-making was difficult.
Put in to bat, Rahul’s knock was the lone bright spot as India could manage a modest score before the bowlers turned the match around on its head.
England made light of the loss of openers Jason Roy and Sam Billings off successive balls in the fourth over bowled by left-arm pacer Nehra and were well on way to pull off the win when they rode on Root’s run-a-ball 38 and Ben Stokes’ 38 and their fourth wicket partnership of 52 in 41 balls.
Root had been involved in an important third-wicket stand of 43 in 41 balls with his captain Eoin Morgan.
Nehra came back for his second spell and also broke through by dismissing Stokes leg before after the batsman had struck two sixes and two fours in his 33-ball knock and had been bowled off a no-ball by Amit Mishra. Although Nehra was hit for 16 runs in his final over, Bumrah trapped Root leg before and then clean bowled Buttler in the final over to end the visitors’ hopes as Moeen Ali failed to connect the last ball with England needing six runs.
Earlier, Rahul finally struck form, but the Indian batting line-up floundered for the second match running.
India lost three wickets in the last over, including that of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, to end at 144 for 8. Rahul’s 47-ball knock contained two sixes and six fours and his partnership of 56 with fellow Karnataka mate Manish Pandey (30 in 26 balls) was the only notable stand. Wearing black armbands to mourn the sudden demise of India’s under 19 and A team trainer Rajeev Sawant and the father of fast bowler Mohammed Shami who is not part of the squad, the home team batsmen failed to get going in earnest.
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England did surprise captain Virat Kohli and Rahul by using left arm slow bowler Liam Dawson, who had replaced fast bowler Liam Plunkett in the XI in the horses for courses change, to open the bowling with the Tymal Mills.
Kohli, in fact, had a charmed life as he top-edged Mills – who worked up good pace – behind the ‘keeper for a four that eluded the left-handed grasp of Sam Billings on the boundary line – and then survived a close leg before appeal against Chris Jordan in the next over.
Kohli struck Mills for a six and a four in successive balls in the next over after surviving the leg before appeal but then was deceived by a slower ball from Jordan and holed out to long off for 21.
This was the second lowest total India defended in a T20 International in the country. Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh got out for single digits – to spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali – leaving the home team at a difficult 69 for three just past the half way mark. Raina slogged and was caught at long on while Yuvraj missed a sweep and was caught plumb in front of the stumps. Rahul’s innings was the saving grace in this period as he coolly got about getting the runs and also used his feet well against the spinners.
The innings’ 100 came up in the 14th over as the Indian batsmen started attacking Dawson and leggie Rashid even as off spinner Moeen did a good job, taking 1 for 20 in four overs. Manish Pandey, who came in at no. 5 instead of Dhoni, had a lucky escape when a ball from Stokes hit the stumps as he went for a slog but failed to dislodge the bails.
Pandey survived on 10 and India’s score after 15 overs was 108 for three as the English bowlers cleverly mixed it up. Rahul was finally dismissed in the 18th over while trying to lift Jordan over the mid-wicket region but could not clear the rope and was caught by Ben Stokes to bring Dhoni to the crease with only 16 balls left in the innings. The hosts also lost Pandey in the penultimate over, bowled by Mills, after clobbering the bowler over long on, his only boundary hit.
The former captain could not do much in the limited overs and got out to the last ball of the innings. Hardik Pandya and Amit Mishra, included in the XI in place of Parvez Rasool, were both run out for ducks in the same over. Jordan finished with 3 for 22. India started the defense of their small total in encouraging fashion when Nehra packed off the openers Jason Roy and Sam Billings off successive balls in the fourth over.
Both Roy and Billings had smacked leggie Yuzvendra Chahal, who opened the bowling for the home team, for a six each before falling prey to the wiles of the left-arm pacer. Billings was the first to go as he charged out and top-edged a pull to long-leg fielder Jasprit Bumrah for 12. With the batsmen having crossed over, Roy was on strike to the next ball that he spooned into the hands of mid-on off.
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The two wickets fell at 22 to bring together senior batsmen Root and Morgan and they did the repair work like they had done in the series opener at Kanpur. Mishra broke the blossoming stand by having Morgan, who stroked his way to 51 off 46 balls in the successful run-chase at Kanpur in the first T20I, caught in the deep for 17.
It was a big blow for England and also enabled Mishra to reach the landmark 200 wickets in T20Is, the second Indian bowler to do so after Ravichandran Ashwin.
England then got a fright off the next ball when Mishra foxed another left-hander Stokes, only to have the ball declared a no-ball via the TV replay. Reprieved by Mishra’s overstepping, Stokes muscled his way by hoisting Suresh Raina and Chahal for huge sixes in the 14th and 15th overs at the end of which the visitors needed 41 runs off 30 balls.