» Cricket » Morgan smashes England to thrilling T20 victory

Morgan smashes England to thrilling T20 victory

Last updated on: September 08, 2014 00:10 IST

England batsman Eoin Morgan hits out, watched by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, during the NatWest T20 International between England and India at Edgbaston. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

India's long tour of England ended on a heartbreaking note, as England held their nerve to pull off a thrilling three-run victory in the only Twenty20 International on the trip.

- Scorecard

Chasing a competitive 181 for seven, India needed 17 runs off the final over of the match, but captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was unable to steer the team home at Edgbaston, on Sunday.

India finished with 177 for five in reply to England's 180 for seven, which was built around captain Eoin Morgan's 71 runs off 31 balls.

Kohli struck a quickfire 66 

Virat Kohli hits out as Jos Buttler of England looks on. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images

A positive for India in defeat was Virat Kohli's 66 off 44 balls, his first fifty on the two-month England tour.

India had a poor start, losing Ajinkya Rahane (8) in the second over. The batsman was bowled round his legs by Moeen Ali (1-31) while trying to replicate his shot for a six earlier in the over.

It brought Kohli to the crease. Along with Shikhar Dhawan (33), he put on 79 runs for the second wicket, off just 53 balls, at 8.94 per over, as the power-play fetched 53 for the loss of a solitary wicket.

The pair raised India’s 50-run mark off the last ball of the sixth over and brought up their 50-run partnership in the next, never easing off their attacking instincts.

Their stand was the highest second-wicket partnership for India against England in all the T20Is contested between the two teams.

Woakes dismisses Dhawan 

Shikhar Dhawan is clean bowled. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

At the half-way stage, India were 89 for 1 and would have liked to continue in the same vein. However, Dhawan went for a wild swing off Chris Woakes (1-43) and was bowled.

Kohli, though, carried on, and in the 13th over registered his 50 off 34 balls. He hit six fours and a six in doing so and put on another 42 runs for the third wicket with Suresh Raina (25 runs, 20 balls, 1 four, 1 six) off 25 balls, as India accelerated in view of the climbing asking rate.

The search for quick runs proved costly, though, as Kohli, looking to pull Steve Finn (1-28), offered a catch in the deep in the 15th over.

Dhoni fails to take India home 

Chris Woakes of England celebrates victory after bowling the last ball of the match to Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Raina didn’t last long either, bowled by a beautiful yorker from Harry Gurey (1-29) in the next over.

It was all left to Dhoni (27 not out) and Ravindra Jadeja (6) to take the team through, but the latter was run-out cheaply in the 18th over.

Twenty-six runs were required off the last two overs, and 17 off the last, and with Dhoni at the crease it did not look that tall an order.

While Ambati Rayudu (3 not out) struggled under pressure, the captain was cool as ever as he took 12 runs off the first four balls of the 20th over. Woakes, however, held his nerve on the last two deliveries to seal England’s only second T20 International victory over India.

England off to a good start 

England batsman Alex Hales hits a straight six. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Earlier, captain Morgan's quickfire knock helped England post an imposing total.

Morgan took the Indian bowlers to cleaners in the death overs as England amassed 81 runs from the last five. Other significant contributions came from Alex Hales (40 off 25), Joe Root (26) and Ravi Bopara (21 not out off 14).

Barring debut spinner Karn Sharma (1-28), the visiting team's bowlers were expensive.

Morgan won the toss and elected to bat first, making use of near-perfect playing conditions. Debutant Jason Roy (8) and Hales gave the team a quick start, scoring 17 off the first over, bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin (0-37).

Shami provides the breakthrough 

Mohit Sharma of India celebrates dismissing Moeen Ali. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Dhoni then reverted to pace from both ends immediately. It resulted in the breakthrough, as Roy tried to clear the infield in the third over, bowled by Mohammed Shami (3-38), but only hit the ball to Ajinkya Rahane at cover.

Two deliveries later, Moeen Ali (0) was dismissed the same way, caught at cover by Rahane, off Mohit Sharma (1-39).

It brought Root to the crease; together with Hales he put on 48 runs for the third wicket off only 40 balls.

During this time, the pair scored at 7.20 runs per over, the power-play yielding 46 for the loss of two wickets.

Root, when on 8, benefited from Ashwin’s dropped catch off Shami in the fifth over and soon England's 50-run mark came up in the seventh.

Morgan takes centrestage  

Eoin Morgan in full flow . Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Hales took the attack to the Indian spinners, clearly enjoying the change in format, but eventually fell to a slow bowler. The credit for his dismissal, though, should go to Rahane, who took a stupendous catch, running in from long-on and covering quite a distance before completing the catch with a diving effort.

The dismissal also triggered Root’s exit three overs later, even as England were placed at 76 for 3 at the half-way mark of the innings. The centurion from the Leeds ODI fell to debutant Sharma, his mishit slog caught by Ambati Rayudu, who ran in from deep mid-wicket.

It brought Morgan and Jos Buttler (10) together and they put on 45 runs for the fifth wicket off just 28 balls, gaining momentum for the end of the innings.