India defeated England by 49 runs in Edgbaston, Birmingham on Saturday to clinch the three-match T20 International series 2-1. Thanks to a brilliant bowling performance, led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar who picked up 3/15, the visitors ensured England never really took off during the 171-run chase.
In the very first over, Bhuvneshwar dismissed Jason Roy and delivered a wicket-maiden. And in his second over, he also sent back in-form captain Jos Buttler to ensure England were on the backfoot in the powerplay itself. He was ably supported by Yuzvendra Chahal (2/10), who picked up Dawid Malan for 19 off 25 and Harry Brook (8 off 9), and Jasprit Bumrah (2/10), who dismissed the big-hitting Liam Livingstone (15 off 9) and Sam Curran for two runs.
Moeen Ali provided some reprieve for his side but his 35-run knock was brought to an end by Hardik Pandya. Additionally, miscommunication in the middle between David Willey and Chris Jordan saw the latter being run out, further adding to England’s troubles.
Player of the match Bhuvneshwar picked up his third by dismissing Richard Gleeson while Harshal Patel also added to the tally by taking the last wicket of Matthew Parkinson to help bowl England out for 121 with three overs to spare.
Having won the toss and opting to bowl first, England were off to a great start as Gleeson enjoyed a memorable international debut by removing all of India’s star-studded top three as the tourists were held to 170/8.
The 34-year-old Lancashire paceman finished with 3/15 in four overs, having dismissed captain Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, who was opening the innings, and Virat Kohli. Chris Jordan followed up with 4/27 before Ravindra Jadeja’s unbeaten 46 kept India in the game.
They had raced to 49 without loss inside five overs before Gleeson, the fourth bowler used by England, struck with just his sixth ball in international cricket. He removed Rohit for a quickfire 31 when the opener top-edged a hook with wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, the England captain, holding a good catch as he ran back.
Gleeson then took two wickets in two balls at the start of his next over to see off Kohli and Pant. Kohli fell for just one when he sliced Gleeson high in the air and Dawid Malan held a fine catch over his shoulder as he ran from backward point. The very next ball Pant (26 off 15 balls) charged at Gleeson but was caught behind off an inside edge.
Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya repaired some of the damage before they were dismissed by consecutive Jordan deliveries. Yadav miscued a pull to deep midwicket boundary before Pandya slapped a short and wide ball straight to backward point to leave India 89/5. Jordan also removed Harshal Patel and Bhuvneshwar Kumar but all-rounder Jadeja hit an unbeaten 46 off 29 balls including five fours.
India and England will play the third and final T20I on Sunday at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
With inputs from AFP