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Sunday, July 8, 2018

India wins T20 Series at Bristol - Rohit & Hardik shine


Glorious uncertainties, thy name ~ Cricket – and T20 brings about even sharper results !!

With 1-1 India played England at Bristol, at   the County Cricket Ground (also known as Nevil Road) in Bristol; home ground of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club. Initially known as Ashley Down Ground, it was bought in 1889 by W. G. Grace and has been home to Gloucestershire ever since. It was sold to local confectionery firm J. S. Fry & Sons and renamed Fry's Ground. The club bought the ground back in 1933 and it reverted to its original name. Bristol is a city  in South West England bordering  North Somerset and  South Gloucestershire,

India won the toss ~ probably Virat Kohli had the toss right but reading wrong.  There were 2 changes -   Siddarth Kaul and Chahar both come in, Bhuvneshwar Kumar unfit and Kuldeep Yadav dropped.  Yes Kuldeep after his 5 for in the 1st T20 – with team management opting for a pace oriented attack going by  the dimensions of the ground.  Both teams had won chasing, so that wass a fairly straightforward call – winning the toss and opting to field.   Indian bowling attack read : Umesh Yadav, debutant Deepak Chahar, Siddarth Kaul, Hardik Pandya & Yuzvendra Chahal.

The English openers made merry and by the end of 5th over, it was 51/0.  Kohli brought in Hardik Pandya, - it was 4,4,6,6 and 20 in first 4 balls – England romped to   73 for 0 from their six-over Powerplay... Their second best of all time, apparently – and things looked ominous – England’s highest against India was very much under threat. .. .. things were to change subtly. A long tour of England can bring contingencies, and India responded gloriously to the first of those to maintain their clean sheet in T20I bilateral series of three matches. Central to India's win was a man who might yet have to play a big part in the rest of the summer: allrounder Hardik Pandya  who after such a bad first over, ended with figures of 4 for 38.  The bowlers  reduced a marauding England batting to 198 when they had looked good for 225.  MS Dhoni took 5 catches and was involved in a direct hit run out too. 

That was an excellent finish from India, just 23 runs from the last three overs to keep England under 200. It's still a hefty chase, set up by the fireworks from Jason Roy and Jos Buttler at the top of the order, but they fell away somewhat at the end. India's chase was soon minus Shikhar Dhawan, very well held by Jake Ball at short fine-leg off David Willey. Chris Jordan took an even better catch - arguably among the best of all-time, sprinting back many yards from mid-on and completing a diving take near the boundary off Ball - to see off KL Rahul and make it 62 for two.

Rohit, however, was already well on his way - and joining forces with Kohli was of course no detriment in a stand of 89 which put India within near touching distance.  Then Hardik joined  centurion Rohit Sharma when India needed to pull themselves out of a brief slowdown when the 15th and 16th over produced seven runs and the wicket of Virat Kohli. Pandya's 33 off 14 took off any pressure that might have been on his Mumbai Indians' team-mate as India chased the target down with more than an over to spare.  Rohit Sharma with another deft innings of 100* of mere 56 balls was the man of the match as India won another T 20 series.

India 201 for 3 (Rohit 100*, Kohli 43) beat England 198 for 9 (Roy 67, Pandya 4-38) by seven wickets

Happy !!

Regards – S. Sampathkumar
8th July 2018 @ 11.10 pm.

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