Ahmedabad: After the blistering half-centuries by skipper Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, Indian bowlers restricted England to 188/8 to register a 36-run win in the fifth T20I here at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Saturday. With this win, India clinched the five-match series by 3-2 and now both the teams will face off in the three-match ODI series. Chasing a mammoth target of 225, England had a miserable start as their opener Jason Roy (0) was sent back to the pavilion by pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the first over of the innings.
Dawid Malan joined Jos Buttler in the middle and the duo started the onslaught on Indian bowlers and kept the scoreboard ticking with a healthy run-rate. Malan and Buttler scored all around the park and kept on scoring boundaries at regular intervals. The duo guided the side to the three-figure mark in the 10th over. After the completion of ten overs, England's score read 104/1.
Meanwhile, Malan completed his half-century off 33 balls in the 11th over. In the next over, Buttler too completed his fifty off 30 balls. When the things looked beyond India's reach, Bhuvneshwar brought hosts back in the game and scalped Buttler (52) in the 13th over. Buttler's knock was studded with four sixes and two fours. Buttler and Malan had a 130-run partnership for the second wicket.
Jonny Bairstow came in to bat at number four but his stay did not last long as Shardul Thakur scalped two wickets in his 16th over and India on top. Thakur bagged Bairstow (7) and then skipper Eoin Morgan (1) in the same over.
New batsmen Ben Stokes and Chris Jordan arrive at the crease to rescue the side. England were at 144/5 in 16 overs. The side required 81 runs off the last four overs.
In search of quick runs, Stokes got victim of T Natarajan and departed after scoring 14 runs. Jofra Archer (1) too returned cheaply on the last ball of the penultimate over. He fell short of his crease and was run out. In the end, England was only able to score 188/8 in their allotted 20 overs. Sam Curran remained unbeaten on 14 runs off three balls.
For India, Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled very economically and built pressure on the English batter. He returned with the figures of 2-16 in his four overs.
Shardul Thakur bagged three wickets while Hardik Pandya and T Natarajan scalped one wicket each. Earlier, skipper Kohli played a knock of 80 runs while Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav played knocks of 64 and 32 respectively as the hosts posted 224/2 in the allotted twenty overs.
However, the telling blow, in the end, came from Hardik Pandya as the swashbuckling all-rounder played an innings of 39 runs off just 17 balls. Put in to bat first, India got off to their best start in this series as openers Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli put on 60 runs inside the first six overs. Both batsmen accumulated boundaries and the hosts were looking set for a big score. Rohit continued with his carnage and as a result, he brought up his half-century in the eighth over of the innings.
In trying to further accelerate the innings, Rohit (64) ended up getting an inside edge and the ball went to the stumps and as a result, he was dismissed by Ben Stokes. Suryakumar Yadav came into bat at number three and he made his intentions known from the very start as he dispatched his second and third balls for a maximum off the bowling of Adil Rashid.
Suryakumar Yadav (32) was in full destruction mode, but Chris Jordon pulled off an effort for the ages at the boundary rope as he helped in sending the right-handed batsman back to the pavilion. In the final four overs, Pandya and Kohli went berserk and the hosts ended up with a total of more than the 220-run mark.
Brief Scores: India 224/2 (Virat Kohli 80*, Rohit Sharma 64, Ben Stokes 1-26); England 188/8 (Dawid Malan 68, Jos Buttler 52; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2-16, Shardul Thakur 3-45).