England, on Tuesday, thrashed India by eight wickets in the third T20I at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. Jos Buttler was the show stealer as he smashed an unbeaten 83 while chasing 157. He opened the inning for the visitors and stood on crease till the very last.
India got the early breakthrough with the ball when Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed in-form Jason Roy for 9 in the fourth over. However, the hosts failed to maintain their dominance as Buttler and Dawid Malan put England in the driver’s seat with a 58-run stand. Buttler was in a red hot form and kept hitting the ball whenever he got the chance, while Malan also welcomed the opportunities.
Buttler completed his 11th T20I fifty in just 26 deliveries courtesy a single off Hardik Pandya in the 9th over. Malan top-edged a six on the very next delivery as the partnership crossed the 50-run mark.
Malan’s 17-ball 18 struggle against spin finally came to an end as he got stumped in the next over bowled by Washington Sundar to give India a much-needed wicket. But England easily managed to recover after a fall of wicket once again with Buttler and Jonny Bairstow (40*) sharing an unbeaten 77-run stand to take their team home with ease.
Earlier in the game, skipper Virat Kohli led from the front and smashed a stunning fifty to guide India to a competitve total. Offered to bat first, India were off to a disastrous start thanks to Mark Wood, who dismissed the opening batsmen – Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. The first batsman to be dismissed was KL Rahul, who was knocked over by a pacy delivery which seamed back in.
Chris Jordan then sent back Ishan Kishan for just 4 to reduce India to 24 for 3 in the 6th over. Kohli and Rishabh Pant stopped the rot but before they could lay the foundation for a big total, the latter was run-out for 25.
However, Kohli remained unbeaten on 77 in 46 balls with 4 sixes and 8 fours to his name at a strike rate of 167.39. India made 156/6 thanks to his second consecutive half-century.
Mark Wood finished with figures of 3/31, while Chris Jordan took 2/35 for England.
The cricket fraternity was all praises for Kohli’s captain innings and taking India to a fighting total.