A collective batting display followed by a sensational four-over spell by Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped India defeat England by 36 runs in the fifth Twenty20 International to claim the series 3-2 in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
England threatened to chase down a massive target but the returning Bhuvneshwar starred while Shardul Thakur provided crucial late breakthroughs.
Rohit Sharma’s blistering 64 off just 34 balls laid the foundation for India’s massive total of 224/2. Skipper Virat Kohli contributed unbeaten 80 while Suryakumar Yadav scored 32 off 17 balls before Chris Jordan’s stunning piece of fielding resulted in his dismissal off Adil Rashid.
Hardik Pandya remained unbeaten on 39.
India struck early with Bhivneshwar Kumar dismissing dangerous Jason Roy for a duck and kept consistent pressure on England.
Dawid Malan (68) and Jos Buttler (52) scored half-centuries but the required run rate kept mounting. They managed 188/8 for in their 20 overs.
England kept up the chase as long as Malan was in.
He passed his first fifty of the series and became the fastest player to reach 1,000 T20I runs, in 24 matches, prompting Kohli to rotate his bowling options.
Kumar sent back Buttler and Thakur struck twice in an over to dismiss Jonny Bairstow, for seven, and Malan as England wilted.
The teams will next play three one-day internationals in Pune on March 23, 26 and 28.
Earlier, Rohit and Kohli blasted half-centuries as India reached 224/2 to set a new best Twenty20 score against England in the decider
With the series level at 2-2, England won the toss in Ahmedabad. Rohit Sharma hit five sixes in his 34-ball blitz before he dragged a slower leg-cutter from Ben Stokes onto his stumps.
Suryakumar Yadav kept up the attack with a flurry of sixes and fours in his 32 off 17 balls, but a stunning fielding manoeuvre by Chris Jordan cut short his innings.
Yadav hit an Adil Rashid ball to the boundary for a likely six and Jordan sprinted from long-on to attempt a one-handed catch. He flicked the ball to Jason Roy who completed the relay catch with a laugh.
Kohli stood firm to complete his third 50 of the series and combined with Hardik Pandya as India surpassed their previous best of 218, against England in Durban in the 2007 World Cup.
Kohli, who hit seven fours and two sixes in his 52-ball knock, and Pandya, who smashed 39, put on 81 for the third wicket.
Kohli’s run of form after a duck in the first match in the series see him win the player of the series of the award while Bhuvneshwar clinched the player of the match.
(With AFP and PTI inputs)
India: 224 for 2 in 20 overs. (Virat Kohli 80 not out, Rohit Sharma 64; Ben Stokes 1/26, Adil Rashid 1/31).
England: 188 for 8 in 20 overs (Dawid malan 68, Jos Buttler 52; Shardul Thakur 3/45, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/15).
What the captains said
“I think it was a complete game for us and we outplayed the opposition even with so much dew coming in. The fact that Rishabh and Shreyas didn’t even come to bat and that we got to 230 was a testimony to the batting performance. Good returns for us. We were positive in our intent and we wanted to take the game forward. Tonight it was classic Rohit Sharma and if plays more freely like that... Suryakumar and Hardik in the end - I enjoyed the partnerships.
“Yes, I’m going to open in the IPL as well. We do have a solid middle order now - it’s about the two best players getting maximum no of balls in T20 cricket. I’d like to parner Rohit at the top and the other guys feel confident when one of us are in. I’d like that to continue. The arrival of Kishan and Surya has pleased me also how Shreyas has batted in the first game and last game.
“Ishan was brilliant but I was particularly pleased with Surya. Hardik and Bhuvi coming back well. Nattu came back in and bowled two crucial overs today. Pant has shown maturity to bat in difficult situations and it has been a series of plusses for us. The confidence levels of Thakur after the Test series is sky-high - even with the bat. Proper, proper cricketer.”— via BCCI match-center
“I think the series facing a strong Indian team was fantastic... India outplayed us in the big moments of the game and deserved to win. As a general principle we bat deep - we try to take advantage of it - but couldn’t do so in big moments. In South Africa against South Africa, we chased 225. Huge plusses for us will be the powerplay bowling. Have to commend Adil Rashid for the new role with the new ball. That gives us the extra option. The top order really well in the two wins we did win.”— via BCCI match-center