Ahmedabad, March 18
India won the fourth T20 International against England by eight runs to level the five-match series at 1-1.
With 23 needed off the final over, bowled by Shardul Thakur, the valiant Jofra Archer struck a four and a six off successive balls to make it interesting. Two wide balls from Thakur followed, and Archer was set to be the hero — but he got only a single off the fourth ball, and Christ Jordan was caught at long on off the fifth. Archer, back on strike, could failed to connect with the swing off the final ball, off which nine were needed. England finished with 177/8.
England seemed set for victory after the 16th over, when they were rocketing along at 140/4, needing 46 off 24 balls. Ben Stokes on 46 off 22 balls seemed set play a match-winning innings. However, in the 17th over, Shardul Thakur removed Stokes (46, four 4s, three 6s) and Eoin Morgan (4) off successive balls to peg back England at 140/6.
In the next over Sam Curran was bowled by Hardik Pandya, and the equation for England was now tougher — 33 off 12 balls. In the 19th over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar conceded only one four, and England needed 23 off the final over.
England’s chase has been launched by Jason Roy, who made 40 off 27 balls, and No. 4 Jonny Bairstow with a 19-ball 25.
Earlier, Suryakumar Yadav smashed a blistering maiden fifty and powered India to 185 for 8 in their fourth T20 International match against England here on Thursday.
Suryakumar, who replaced an injured Ishan Kishan, struck six fours and three sixes in his 31-ball 57 to top score for India after being asked to bat. He debuted in the second T20I but did not bat in that match. He did not play in the third game.
India did not have a big partnership but quickfire knocks from Shreyas Iyer (37 off 18 balls) and Rishabh Pant (30 off 23) took the hosts to their highest total of the series.
England again opened the attack with leg-spinner Adil Rashid but Rohit Sharma (12) clobbered him for a six in the first ball of the match and then followed it up with a four.
But Rohit’s promising innings was cut short in the fourth over as he was caught and bowled by Jofra Archer, who took career-best figures of 4/33.
Suryakumar hit Archer for a six in the first ball he faced in international cricket, picked up the gaps and found the boundaries to keep the scoreboard moving, though the England bowlers were by no means wayward.
India’s 45 for 1 after the powerplay was not a top-notch effort but Suryakumar smacked Rashid for a six and a four in the seventh over to overtake opener KL Rahul (14).
The home side suffered a double blow in the form of Rahul and captain Virat Kohli as they were pegged back to 70 for 3 in the ninth over.
Rahul continued his struggle as he offered a simple catch to Archer at mid-off off the bowling of Ben Stokes while Kohli was stumped out as he danced down the track to smash Rashid in an uncharacteristic show of aggression early in his innings.
India were 75 for 3 at halfway mark with Suryakumar going great guns. He reached his maiden international fifty from just 28 deliveries, with a four off Rashid in the 12th over.
Pant joined the party as he hit two fours off Stokes in the 13th over, taking India’s score to 104 for 3.
But Suryakumar was unlucky to have been given out in the 14th over after repeated replays of Dawid Malan’s catch off Sam Curran by the TV umpire. A part of the ball seemed to have touched the ground but the TV umpire did not overturn the on-field umpire’s decision due to lack of conclusive proof.
Ben Stokes took a blinder of a catch to get rid of Hardik Pandya in the 19th over and Washington Sundar was given out in the last over after repeated replays by the TV umpire. – PTI