England required 41 off 30 with seven wickets in hand, 32 off 24 wit seven wickets in hand and eight off the final over with six wickets in hand. That India still managed to win was courtesy some sensational end-overs bowling by Bumrah. That India got to 140 plus was thanks to KL Rahul’s half-century, a sparkling effort on a tough pitch. He made batting look easier than it was. Thanks for joining us, folks. Hope you enjoyed the coverage. Until next time, cheers!
Virat Kohli: It’s important to have belief. It was a case of us executing well initially. You don’t want to let momentum slip away in the middle overs, especially with the series on the line. But the way spinners bowled in the middle, and then the effort of Nehra and Bumrah with dew was outstanding. Nehra knew exactly what he wanted to do, Bumrah was asking me every ball what I thought he should do. I told him ‘just bowl what comes naturally to you.’ I played for a bit on that wicket, shot-making was difficult. As soon as I got out, Rahul knew he had to play long. He has all the shots in the book. Good reflexes, hand-eye coordination. Looking forward to Bangalore. There are some things we need to tighten up.
Kapil: “Terrific bowling by Bumrah, but have to say this match is the biggest advertisement for DRS in T20, especially with India now on board.”
Eoin Morgan: We didn’t start the final over well, a decision didn’t go our way. The wicket was tough, but fair play, he produced a match-winning over. I thought we bowled really well to back up our previous performance with the ball, but with the last two games, we’ve been right on the money. In the chase, we never let it get too far away from us. Root, Stokes played outstandingly well. It’s unbelievably disappointing to lose, but we still have a chance to win the series in Bangalore.
INDIA 144(20 OVERS)
- MK Pandey 30 (26)
- KL Rahul 71 (47)
- MM Ali 1/20 (4.0)
- CJ Jordan 3/22 (4.0)
ENGLAND 139(20 OVERS)
- JE Root 38 (38)
- BA Stokes 38 (27)
- A Nehra 3/28 (4.0)
- JJ Bumrah 2/20 (4.0)
KL Rahul was the only player to record a fifty in the match, and his 47-ball 71 featured some of the most fluent batting of the night. Rahul was one of only three India batsmen to reach double-figures as they struggled to break free, with Chrish Jordan claiming three key wickets for England, but their total of 144 for 8 ultimately proved to be enough.
As in the first T20, England’s attack put in an intelligent performance to prevent India from reaching 150. Moeen did not concede a boundary during an immaculate four-over spell, and Jordan removed Rahul, as well as the twin pillars of Kohli and MS Dhoni, to finish with 3 for 22. His final over, during which there were two run-outs, cost just five runs as he repeatedly thwarted Dhoni – though Bumrah’s finishing was even better.
Recognising this was a slower surface – Eoin Morgan called it “a really Indian wicket” at the toss – England included a third spinner in Liam Dawson and both sides tailored their plans accordingly. Dawson opened the bowling for England with an over that cost just five, while Yuvzendra Chahal sent down three-quarters of his allocation in the Powerplay.
Sam Billings and Jason Roy each struck Chahal for six in the third over of the chase, but England’s openers were dismissed by consecutive deliveries from Nehra. Kohli then focused on spin to try and push up the asking rate, before dew rendered the ball difficult to grip, with Amit Mishra and Suresh Raina delivering eight overs in tandem. Mishra had Morgan caught at the boundary, but then committed a cardinal sin as Stokes survived what would have been a golden duck thanks to a front-foot no-ball.
Still, like India’s batsmen before them, England were finding run-scoring hard. Of the 10 T20Is previously played at the VCA Stadium, only three had been won by the chasing side; India had themselves fallen victim a year ago, in their opening match at the World T20, when New Zealand defended a meagre-looking total of 126 with room to spare.
England’s advantage seemed to be in the power at their disposal and Stokes’ reprieve was put into sharper focus when he struck Raina down the ground for six and four to start the 14th over, just as the required rate had gone above nine an over. Another muscular heave off Chahal comfortably cleared long-on to bring up England’s hundred, but Nehra trapped him with a slower ball to precipitate the late slide.
That the bowlers would hold greater sway in Nagpur was evident early on. Kohli targeted a fast start and struck three boundaries – including one imperious six off Tymal Mills – but should have been given out lbw on 7 when Jordan pinned him in front of middle and leg. He departed soon after, trying to clear the infield again, having scored 21 of the first 30.
Rahul’s initial contributions had been limited to nudges for one or two but he registered his first four from Jordan’s next ball, rifling a drive over extra cover, and began to find his touch against the spinners. India had finished the Powerplay reasonably well-placed on 46 for 1, but Moeen and Adil Rashid followed up with three boundary-less overs, which also saw the removal of Raina to an ungainly slog-sweep. Rahul broke the shackles by smacking a Rashid full toss into the crowd at deep midwicket.
India stalled again as Moeen gave Yuvraj Singh a working over before dismissing him lbw, but Rahul struck Dawson for six and four in an over that cost 15, then took two more boundaries off Rashid to bring up the hundred in the 14th over. Rahul and Manish Pandey added 56 together, but the going was tough as England reverted to seam and the full chocolate box of variations.
The last six overs saw England concede just two boundaries – one a thick-edged Rahul four off Stokes, the other Pandey crashing Mills over long-on – as India added 39 for 5. Rahul picked out deep midwicket trying to kick on and Pandey was bowled by Mills’ slower ball but, even though Jordan silenced Dhoni, Bumrah had the final word.
Bumrah: I tried to assess the wicket. Tried to learn from whatever I saw in the first innings. On this wicket, I thought it’s a big ground and it’s on the slower side, so back of a length deliveries and slower balls worked well. We all know what Buttler is capable of, but I was trying to stick to my plan. Tried to bowl stump to stump. Back of a length deliveries on the stumps were difficult. There was significant dew. Didn’t expect so much and because of that, the back of length deliveries skid along. The wicket was up and down so back of a length deliveries worked well. Captain’s confidence always helps. He’s given me the freedom of doing whatever I want to. So I can stick to my strengths. The confidence is always helpful. Happy that we came on the winning end
Jasprit Bumrah is Man of the Match
Nehra: It was a pressure game. The only thing on my mind was to give as many runs to Jasprit (to defend) . One bad ball, one good shot and it would have been over. Hats off to the way Jasprit bowled the last over. We know how good a bowler he is with the old ball. I don’t think anything was wrong with that ball (the one Buttler hit for six to cap off his spell). I did whatever best I could do. I told Bumrah that even if he goes for four (last ball), we will still win. He asked me if he should bowl a length ball but I told him to bowl a yorker outside off, with the kind he has. Even if it’s a full toss, it will go for a four, not for a six. With 32 odd needed off the last 4 overs, I told him that we will win.
* India’s closest wins in T20Is (by runs):
1 v SA, Colombo, 2012
1 v Ban, Bangalore, 2016
3 v Zim, Harare, 2016
5 v Pak, Joburg, 2007
5 v Eng, Nagpur, 2017