Ahmedabad, March 18
India won the fourth T20 International against England by eight runs to level the five-match series at 2-2.
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, 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 to 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 had been launched by Jason Roy, who made 40 off 27 balls, and No. 4 Jonny Bairstow with a 19-ball 25.
Yadav’s first knock
Earlier, Suryakumar Yadav, in his first international innings, smashed a blistering 57 to power India to 185/8
Yadav, who came in for the 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 had debuted in the second T20I but did not bat in that match. 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. The series-decider will be played on Saturday. — TNS, agencies
India 185/8 (Yadav 57, Iyer 37, Pant 30; Archer 4/33, Wood 1/25)
England 177/8 (Stokes 46, Roy 40, Bairstow 25; Thakur 3/42, Pandya 2/16, Chahar 2/35)