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Manchester T20: Morgan guides England to six-wicket win over India

Source: PTI
September 01, 2011 01:57 IST
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Eoin Morgan struck a quickfire 49 off 27 balls as England overpowered India by six wickets in the one-off Twenty20 international in Manchester on Wednesday. 

Left-hander Morgan was the hero of England's chase of 166, striking seven fours and a six. 

Morgan put on 73 runs for the fourth wicket with Ravi Bopara (31) off only 49 balls to lead England to a comprehensive victory despite Ajinkya Rahane's 61 off 39 balls.

Jade DernbachJade Dernbach (four for 22) and captain Stuart Broad (two for 37) helped the hosts with a flurry of wickets as the visitors scored only 61 runs, losing nine wickets from the final eight overs.

England lost debutant Alex Hales (0) to Praveen Kumar off only the second ball of the innings but experienced Kevin Pietersen gave an impetus to the innings with a stroke-filled 33 off 23 balls with five fours.

Pietersen and opener Craig Kieswetter (18) guided England to 54 for one in the power-play but then the hosts lost both of them in the space of three runs to bring the match back on an even keel. Kieswetter offered a simple catch at short cover and Pietersen was stumped off the first ball by Virat Kohli.

Earlier Ajinkya Rahane marked his international debut with a bang as he smashed a quickfire 61 to guide India to 165.

The Mumbai opener had the packed crowd in raptures as he produced almost every stroke in the book to score 61 off 39 balls with eight fours in his maiden innings in international cricket.

Suresh Raina, who had suffered a miserable summer in Tests thus far, marked out both Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan for special attention, as he smashed 33 runs of 19 balls with two fours and three sixes. 

Brought in as replacement for Virender Sehwag earlier this week, Rahane gave India a quick start with Parthiv Patel (10) and reached his half century off only 29 balls with eight fours. 

England's pace trio of Bresnan, Jade Dernbach and captain Broad tried to intimidate the young right-hander with short-pitched deliveries but every such attempt was met with a ferocious pulls or hooks by the right-hander. 

Patel got the innings going with a good-looking backfoot drive into covers off Bresnan but thereafter Rahane took over.      Rahane began with a lofted cut over covers off Dernbach and then twice pulled short deliveries from Bresnan and Broad. 

As Broad and Dernbach persisted with bouncing deliveries, Rahane produced three more fours in breathtaking style. 

India lost Patel in the fifth over when the left-hander played too early at a slower Dernbach delivery. 

Rahul Dravid walked into play his maiden and possibly only T20 innings and surprised everyone by hitting three successive sixes off left-arm spineer Samit Patel. 

Dravid (31 off 21 balls) left in the 12th over but the innings was already past the 100-run mark. The veteran batsman hit the part-time medium-pace of Ravi Bopara straight into the hands of short extra cover.

After Dravid was dismissed, Broad took two wickets off successive balls — both Rahane  and Virat Kohli (4) falling to aggressive strokes. 

Rahane lofted a short delivery into the hands of widish third man while Kohli, who had crossed ends, edged a pull to wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter. Rohit Sharma (1) gave a charge to Graeme Swann and was stumped to have India reeling at 117 for five in 14 overs. 

Raina then took over and went after England pacemen with a vengeance, striking Broad for a pulled six and four off successive balls. Bresnan, if anything, was dealt with more severely as the left-hander smote him for two successive sixes on the onside. 

However, India then lost three wickets in a hurry. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (8) first holed out in the deep and then R Ashwin was run-out for four. Raina lofted into covers to depart for 33 runs.

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