Following an England collapse of epic proportions even by T20 standards, India won the final T20I match in Bangalore by 75 runs to clinch the T20 series 2-1 in Bangalore today. MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina were the stars in the batting department with both getting fifties but Yuzvendra Chahal was the man of the moment as he returned with mind-boggling figures of 6-25 on a batting paradise.
The fans were already expecting the historically high scoring Bangalore venue to make up for the two low scoring ties earlier in the series and they were not disappointed. For the third time in a row in the series, England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and put India to bat once again. The Indian team was expecting fireworks from their captain Virat Kohli in his adopted home. However, Kohli fell in just the second over trying to steal a non-existent single. The partnership of KL Rahul and Suresh Raina made sure India recovered from this early jolt. Rahul perished soon after hitting a monstrous 98m six that went onto the roof of the Chinnaswamy.
Soon it was the turn of the former CSK duo Raina and Dhoni to turn on the heat at the home ground of the RCB. Raina’s shot making was vintage, full of his signature cover drives and slog sweeps. He was dropped by Rashid off his own bowling when on 47. But it did not prove to be too costly as Raina was later dismissed out caught in the deep for a well made 63 off 45 balls.
Dhoni was joined in the middle by Yuvraj at the fall of Raina’s wicket. The duo had already contributed immensely to India clinching the ODI series earlier and it was Déjà vu time for the England bowlers. Their death bowling up until today’s game had been exceptional throughout the ODI and T20 series. But it all changed in the face of the onslaught from Dhoni and Yuvraj. They put up 57 in just 28 balls to put India firmly on track towards a total in excess of 200. Dhoni got to his first ever fifty in T20Is in his 76th match but fell for 56 off 36 in the final over. Some big hitting from debutant Rishab Pant and Hardik Pandya ensured that India got 202-6 in the end. The team managed to get 70 runs off the last 5 overs.
However, no score is considered safe at the Chinnaswamy these days. Plenty of totals in excess of 200 have been chased down here in past IPLs owing to the splendid outfield and flat batting wicket there. It is notoriously known as a six hitting ground and England’s batsmen certainly had an appetite for those.
However, today’s pitch was slightly on the slower side bringing into play India’s two spinners, Mishra and Chahal. The 2nd over of the innings bowled by Chahal was a particularly eventful one. Roy opened his account with an extraordinary reverse-swept six over deep point. Then Chahal got Sam Billings out for a golden duck off the third delivery of the over. But off the very next ball, he missed a clear opportunity to run-out danger man Jason Roy, with both him and Joe Root stuck at the same end. Thereafter, Roy was relentless in his hitting. He and Root have been a thorn in India’s flesh throughout the limited overs campaign and they were no different today. They put on 47 off 28 before Roy was snapped up by Mishra right after the end of the power play. Incoming batsman Morgan then took it upon himself to negate the threat of the spinners. He was decisively severe on the part-timer Raina, taking 22 runs off his solitary over.
Both Root and Morgan sedately built the England innings to set up the chase with England requiring 89 off the last 8 overs with 8 wickets in hand. Chahal returned in the 14th over to pick up both Root and Morgan off successive deliveries at the right moment for India. Last match’s hero Bumrah picked up Buttler in the very next over for a duck. In his final over, Chahal dismissed Ali, Stokes and Jordan to end England’s challenge. England’s batting simply fell apart at this stage, having lost 8 wickets off 18 balls to go from 119-2 to 127-10.
England thereby leave the Indian shores empty handed after having lost the test series 4-0 and the ODI series 2-1 earlier. As for India, they will be delighted with what has been a complete team performance throughout the series in all departments of the game to end up as deserving winners.