Chahal seals series win for India
A six-wicket haul from Yuzvendra Chahal saw England fall 76 runs short of winning the T20I series in India after the hosts posted 202/6 in their innings.
India were powered to what looked to be a moderate total on a ground that is renowned for being a big scoring venue in Bangalore by half centuries from Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni.
The first wicket to fall was that of Virat Kohli who could only blame himself for a horrendous run out when he had made just two.
His partner Lokesh Rahul looked good for his 22 before he was unlucky to be bowled by Ben Stokes with what replays showed should have been a no-ball.
Raina and Dhoni shared a partnership that along with the former’s stand with Rahul would form the base of a competitive total.
When Raina departed for 63 India were 120 for 3 and poised for a big finish.
England did well to pull things back though after another half century stand between Yuvraj (27) and Dhoni.
The wicket of Dhoni (56) slowed the final push and though Hardik Pandya cleared the fence in his innings of 11, when he was run out off the final ball India reached 202 for 6.
Liam Plunkett’s return of 1 for 22 made him the pick of the bowlers.
In response England looked to be well on top early despite losing Sam Billings for a first ball duck in the second over when Raina caught an attempted clip off Chahal that ricocheted off the batsman’s pads to slip.
The tourists reached 55 for 1 with Jason Roy (32) going well before he departed after trying to slog sweep a ball from Amit Mishra that wasn’t there for the taking being too wide and too slow.
Joe Root (42) and Eoin Morgan looked to yet again be guiding England as they have done so well in this series but got both before cutting into the England tail.
Five England batsman made ducks and the tail didn’t so much wag as crumble into dust in the face of some great bowling from Chahal who ended with figures of 6 for 25.
India won the match by 75 runs and the series 2-1.
England skipper Morgan was desperately disappointed with their effort: “We made a fatal error in losing two in batsman when we were going so well. Outstanding bowling from Chahal, and India put in a performance worthy of winning the series.
“We could have done with myself or Joe getting 70 or 80 but it wasn’t meant to be tonight. Beautiful wicket to bat on, very small boundary, and altitude as well.
“We would have taken 190 at the start of the game. Our batting performance was possibly the worst in the last two years, but we won’t necessarily dwell too much into that.”
His opposite number Kohli though was delighted: “Coming back here after a while, a long time since we played the IPL final here. The occasion demanded us to be at our very best.
“We lost all three tosses, similar to the Test series as well, and we’ve won all three series. It’s not a bad thing when you have MS Dhoni behind the stumps and experienced guys like Ashu bhai and Yuvi pa.
“I’m taking advice from them whenever possible, they’re so intelligent, a lot of credit goes to them. Mishra’s two overs, and that one over from Jordan to Yuvi, that changed the momentum. It pushed us past 200, and that gave us the psychological advantage.
“Having two legspinners on a dry wicket, we always knew we would get a few chances. Mishy started it, and then Chahal took five wickets in two overs – he knows these conditions, he knows how to bowl here.
“I have a lot of faith in him, and he plays with a lot of confidence. He has a lot of skill and he has the character as well. I wanted to send [Dhoni] up the order, he’s the one who says he’ll come in later, that will give the team better balance.
“Come the big game, even in the one-day series, series decider, he stepped up, and he stepped up again today. It’s a memorable series win for us, the whole tour. It’s been a brilliant couple of months for the Indian team, going forward we know exactly what to do in each format.”
Yuvraj credited the bowlers for India’s win: Yuvraj Singh: “I thought I’ll take my time for one or two overs. You always have time in T20. Bangalore has always been a batting paradise. It was gripping a bit, bit of spin, but batting paradise.
“I think 200 is the par score because you’ve seen big chases here, big sixes. Great bowling performance by the bowlers. Jassi brought us back in the last T20 as well, and Mishra set the tone for us today. Definitely because of the bowlers we won today.”
Mishra was happy to strangle England and allow Chahal to reap the reward, saying: “I wanted to vary my pace and spin the ball. Managed to keep the pressure on. The way I worked with Chahal in the nets, we were discussing which areas to bowl, and how to keep the boundaries to a minimum. I knew that if we didn’t leak boundaries, we would put pressure on them, that’s why I tried all my variety.”
Man of the match and series Chahal said: “It felt good because I’m playing an India match in Bangalore for the first time.
“It always feels like home. I’ve bowled in the Powerplay before in the IPL, and Virat has confidence in me that I can do that.
“In the start, I plan that batsmen will want to go for their shots because it’s a small ground, so I have a chance for wickets. I bowl a fuller length, so I have a chance for lbws if they miss the sweep and reverse-sweep. Never dreamed I’d get six wickets.”
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