India’s disastrous tour of 2014 ended on a defeat at Edgbaston in Birmingham with hosts England prevailing by 3 runs in the Only NatWest T20I on Sunday. England Skipper Eoin Morgan led from the front scoring a blistering half century to set up England towards a big total of 180. Although India looked to be going alright in the run chase, the visitors were pegged back by the English fast bowling trio of Steven Finn, Harry Gunrey and Chris Woakes when it mattered in the final overs.
For starters, England won the toss and elected to bat first on a bright and sunny evening. The hosts gave T20I debut to Surrey opener Jason Roy. For India, Railways and Sunrisers Hyderabad leg-spinner Karn Sharma made his India debut while AT Rayudu was on his T20I debut.
Debutant Jason Roy looked confident but was dismissed for a 10-ball 8 when he drove Mohammed Shami straight to covers in the 3rd over. In two balls time, Moeen Ali departed for a duck when his backfoot drive off Mohit Sharma was taken at extra covers. England recovered from the early blows with Alex Hales laying the foundation with a 25-ball 40. The important wicket of Alex Hales fell in the 10th over thanks to a brilliant outfield catch from Ajinkya Rahane in Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling.
England kind of struggled after Hales’ departure with Joe Root not able to get much more than his singles. Eventually the final ODI centurion got out top edging his slog sweep off Karn Sharma to deep mid wicket leaving England at 85 for 4 in the 12th over. The hosts seemed to be getting strangled by the Indian spinners but Skipper Eoin Morgan blasted them to 180 for 7 with his clean striking scoring 71 from 31 balls with 3 fours and 7 sixes. Ravi Bopara provided the perfect finish with an unbeaten 21 from 9 balls.
Mohammed Shami was the most successful bowler for India taking 3 for 38. Karn Sharma looked good in his first international outing taking 1 for 28 in his four overs.
In the run chase, Ajinkya Rahane got out in the 3rd over when he was bowled round his legs trying to sweep Moeen Ali off his pads. India got a solid partnership of 79 before Shikhar Dhawan was bowled trying to heave a full ball from Chris Woakes in the 11th over. Virat Kohli finally got to his first and only fifty of the tour in 34 balls. Kohli couldn’t take India home though as he top edged a pull in Steven Finn’s bowing to deep squareleg with India at 131 for 3 in 14.2 overs. Virat Kohli finished his tour with 66 from 41 balls with 9 fours and a six.
The tourists received a major blow when Suresh Raina was yorked by left-armer Harry Gunrey for a 20-ball 25 and Ravindra Jadeja run out during the climax of the run chase. In the last two overs, it was a difficult task for MS Dhoni with India needing 26 runs from the last two overs and then 17 from the final over. Skipper MS Dhoni despite having a capable AT Rayudu at the other decided to take all the strike and ended up failing to deliver the almost impossible knock out punch. In the final ball, Dhoni had to hit a six off Woakes to win the match which wasn’t feasible. The Indian Captain remained unbeaten on 27 from 18 balls with 2 fours and a six while India finished with 177 for 5. His counterpart Eoin Morgan got the Man of the Match award.