India beat England by eight runs to level series
Published : 19 Mar 2021, 15:59
Suryakumar Yadav smashed 57 and India’s bowlers stifled England’s batters in a tense finale to claim an eight-run victory in the fourth Twenty20 international Thursday that leveled the five-match series at 2-2.
Shardul Thakur claimed three wickets while Hardik Pandya and Rahul Chahar took two each as India kept England to 177-8 in their chase of 186 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. With the pressure to score mounting, Ben Stokes hit a defiant 46 off 23 deliveries before falling to Thakur as the series witnessed its first unsuccessful run chase.
Jofra Archer led a final run blitz and England needed 23 from the final over. Archer gave India a scare by hitting a six and a four, then there were two wides and Archer’s bat broke going for a big hit as the visitors fell short. “With the ball we were quite clinical. Shardul turned it around but our powerplay start kept England in check and under pressure,” India skipper Virat Kohli said after the win.
Eoin Morgan said that India deserved their win in the match where dew made bowling difficult. “They controlled large parts of the game,” the England captain admitted.
Jason Roy hit a quickfire 40 before England hit trouble at 66-3 but Stokes raised England’s hopes with a 65-run fourth-wicket stand with Jonny Bairstow, who made 25.
Stokes bemoaned the lack of a recognized batsman for the climax. “One of us has got to be there leading,” he said. He was also disappointed to have got out close to his 50 when he was threatening the Indian bowlers. “You obviously feel more frustrated when you feel that you have the game in your hands.”
Indian bowlers kept coming back with wickets and Yadav, after his exploits with the bat, took two catches to cap a dominating day. Morgan won the toss and India started strongly with Rohit Sharma hitting a six off the first ball of the innings.
Yadav also flicked Archer for a six over the fine leg with the first ball he faced in an international innings after missing out on batting in the second match which India won. His innings came off just 31 balls and included three sixes and six fours.
“We ticked all the boxes today: bowling department, fielding department and the energy was good. And everything else took care of itself,” said man of the match Yadav. Rishabh Pant (30) and Shreyas Iyer (37) also made useful contributions.
England hit back with two quick wickets as Stokes sent back KL Rahul for 14 and Kohli was stumped off Adil Rashid’s googly.
Archer claimed four wickets including two in the 20th over to return his T20 best of 4-33. Left-arm quick Sam Curran finally cut short Yadav’s innings with Dawid Malan taking a sharp catch which was repeatedly reviewed by the TV umpire to check whether it was a clean take in the deep.
The deciding match is on Saturday at the same venue.
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