Morgan stars, England beats India by 3 runs in T20
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Eoin Morgan bludgeoned seven sixes in a brilliant 71 off 31 balls to set England on its way to a thrilling three-run win over India in their tour-ending Twenty20 international on Sunday.
Replying to 180-7 and needing the highest international T20 run chase on English soil, India kept up with the run rate thanks to Virat Kohli’s 66 off 40 balls but got bogged down by impressive death bowling from England in front of a loud, pro-India crowd in Birmingham.
India required 17 runs off the last over and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni — arguably the world’s best finisher in limited-overs cricket — kept the strike throughout, hitting a six and a four to leave him needing five off two balls.
Dhoni refused a single off the penultimate delivery and then picked out a fielder at square leg off the last, when a four would have meant a Super Over tiebreaker. India finished on 177-5.
“I just didn’t time it,” Dhoni said. “To get 17 runs off the last over, it’s always difficult.”
India returns home with a 3-1 defeat in the test series, a 3-1 win in the one-day series and a narrow loss in the only T20 match.
Morgan’s seven sixes tied the record for a single innings in T20 internationals and the England captain also cracked three fours in a sixth half-century in his 50 T20s.
His belligerent knock rescued an England innings that was in trouble at 85-4 in the 12th over, with India’s spinners giving the middle order a hard time. Off the last five overs, England slammed 81 runs as Ravi Bopara finished 21 not out off nine balls.
Alex Hales hit 40 off 25 balls at the top of the order, before departing to an amazing full-length catch from Ajinkya Rahane — one of his four catches in the innings.
Kohli averaged 13.50 in the five-match test series and scored just 54 runs across four innings in the one-day series, but he showed a belated return to form in smashing nine fours and one six on the way to his highest score on tour.
His 79-run partnership with Shikhar Dhawan for the second wicket left India in good shape but England conceded just 13 runs off 18 balls prior to the last over of the innings by Chris Woakes.
Dhoni hogged the strike ahead of Ambati Rayudu, who had just come to the crease after Ravindra Jadeja’s run out, but the captain couldn’t push India over the line.
“Throughout the whole game, our guys held their nerve very well,” Morgan said. “There were some nerve-racking times at the end but we were great.”