India break the jinx to win by 8 runs
Superb bowling in death overs by Indian pacers took India to a spectacular 8 run win in the 4th T20I over England to tie the series 2-2 with one to play. India also broke the jinx of teams losing by batting first in this series.
It was a difficult job to defend even a good score like 185 on this true pitch with heavy dew. However in crucial portions of the England innings, Indian fast bowlers in particular bowled with great skill and resilience and using the slower balls to great effect. Chasing 186 target, Roy and Buttler took time to unleash themselves in powerplay and Buttler (9) departed cheaply as he mistimed Bhuvneswar’s slower ball to sky a catch on offside after having just hit a 6 on the on side. Roy suddenly exploded against Shardul and Sundar and looked dangerous till he was dismissed by Hardik for 40 of just 27 balls. Malan (14) scratched around before Rahul Chahar got him and England appeared to be losing their way.
However Ben Stokes and Johny Bairstow suddenly looked in destructive form and was smashing balls into the stands as the dew was increasing making the ball tough to grip for the bowlers. Stokes played explosive shots and looked menacing but lost Bairstow (25) on the way. England looked like taking control till when Shardul came in the 17th over and had Stokes (46 off 23 balls) caught by Surya in the deep and off the next ball Morgan departed to swiftly change the game in India’s favour .
Hardik and Bhuvneshwar bowled superbly in 18th and 19th overs to keep England in check but Archer (18 off 8) briefly threatened in the final over bowled by Shardul, who showed signs of nerves bowling two wides but finally suceeded in keeping Archer and Jordan in check. However England had too much to do at the end losing by 8 runs with Shardul (3/42), Hardik (2/16) and Bhuvneshwar (1/30) controlling the vital phases well. Rahul Chahar (2/35) had a decent game too in difficult bowling conditions.
Earlier Surya Kumar Yadav (57), Shreyas Iyer (37) and Pant (30) batted very well to put up a challenging score of 185. Surya hit the very first ball he faced in international cricket for a calypso styled six and continued to play superb shots in his innings scoring 50 in his maiden international innings like Kishan did in 2nd game.
Shreyas’ cameo of 37 off 18 balls proved to be a crucial contribution in the final context of the match and he played some wonderful improvised shots without taking too many risks. Pant (30) looked in form till the time he was there. However Rohit (12) and Rahul (14) had off days with the bat and Kohli (1) got stumped trying to charge at leggie Adil Rashid. Couple of crucial meaty blows by Shardul (10 off 4 balls) took India over 180. Jofra Archer (4/33) bowled skillfully to get 4 wickets.
However the exciting game was marred by a poor 3rd umpire decision to uphold the on field signal of “out” of Surya Kumar Yadav when TV replays clearly showed Dawid Malan grassing the catch but Surya was given out. Also Sundar’s dismissal had an air of uncertainty as Rashid’s leg was extremely close to the boundary tape. ICC needs to have a rebook at the “soft signal” aspect of the decisions.
Ind vs Eng, Ahmedabad
India won by 8 runs
IND 185/8 (20 Ovs) Suryakumar Yadav 57(31)
Shreyas Iyer 37(18)
Jofra Archer 4/33
Mark Wood 1/25
ENG 177/8 (20 Ovs)
Hardik Pandya 2/16