IND vs ENG 4th T20I: Suryakumar, Thakur lead India to eight-run win over England to level series

India vs England: Suryakumar’s electric 31-ball 57 was key to India’s eight-run victory, which helped the home side pull level at 2-2 in the five-match series.

India led by Rohit Sharma in the absence of Virat Kohli in the last four overs, held its nerve to beat England by eight runs to level the series 2-2 on Thursday.   -  Sportzpics

If Ishan Kishan was unfortunate to be ruled out of the fourth T20I due to a groin strain, lady luck smiled on his replacement Suryakumar Yadav. The Mumbai cricketer, dropped for the previous outing after not having faced a ball in his debut in the second T20I, grabbed his chance and made it count.

Suryakumar’s electric 31-ball 57 was key to India’s eight-run victory, which helped the home side pull level at 2-2 in the five-match series.

The unshakable self-confidence that Suryakumar exuded came to the forefront when he rocked back to pull Jofra Archer for a six in the very first ball he faced. It was a dream start to his international batting career.

HIGHLIGHTS | India vs England 4th T20I Highlights: Thakur, Pandya shine as India beats England by 8 runs to level series 2-2

Two more maximums followed - including an astonishing scoop over fine-leg - before a questionable catch by Dawid Malan forced his dismissal.

Skipper Virat Kohli (1,5b) fell cheaply, rushing down the track to leg-spinner Adil Rashid and missing completely. Rishabh Pant (30, 23b,4x4) and Shreyas Iyer (37, 18b, 5x4, 1x6) kept the score moving at a healthy rate, taking India to 185 for eight.

Archer finished with four for 33, his best figures in T20Is. Fellow pacer Mark Wood was all fire and bite, even if he only managed to scalp one wicket.

In reply, England fought hard but paid the price for losing wickets at crucial junctions. Opener Jason Roy looked dangerous during his 27-ball 40, until a flat-batted tennis shot off Hardik Pandya landed in Suryakumar’s hands at deep mid-wicket. His opening partner Jos Buttler (9, 6b), the man-of-the-match in the third T20I, was deceived by a slower ball from Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

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Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, drafted in at the expense of Yuzvendra Chahal, showed great control and temperament. He cleaned up Malan, who attempted a reverse-sweep to a ball on off-stump. Chahar returned to the attack to remove Jonny Bairstow, ending a dangerous 65-run stand
between Bairstow and Ben Stokes.

Stokes, meanwhile, kept the visitor in the hunt. He fancied his chances against spinners Washington Sundar and Chahar, tonking anything full with great power into the stands.

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It took a clever spell from Shardul Thakur to turn the tide. Thakur first took out Stokes with a slower ball, slapped straight to Suryakumar at long-on. The very next ball, Eoin Morgan fell to yet
another cutter. England needed 46 runs from 22 balls at this stage, leaving Sam Curran and Chris Jordan with a lot on their plate.

With 23 needed off the final over, Thakur was given the ball. A nervous Thakur conceded a six, a four and two wides, but got his act together in the final three deliveries to shut England out of the contest.