Second T20I: Bumrah, Nehra seal close win for India

The bowling triumvirate of veteran Ashish Nehra, seasoned leggie Amit Mishra and uncanny pacer Jasprit Bumrah ensured that K. L. Rahul’s onslaught didn’t go waste as India registered a nail-biting five-run win in the second T20I against England and kept the series alive going into the deciding rubber.

Jasprit Bumrah being congratulated by team-mates.

Needing eight from the final over, Jasprit Bumrah picked up two wickets and gave away only two runs, to help India level the three-match T20I series.   -  K. R. Deepak

The bowling triumvirate of veteran Ashish Nehra, seasoned leggie Amit Mishra and uncanny pacer Jasprit Bumrah ensured that K. L. Rahul's onslaught didn’t go waste as India registered a nail-biting five-run win in the second T20I against England and kept the series alive going into the deciding rubber.

>Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details

With a clever bowling unit of England, India was restricted to a sub-par total of 144 for eight. And, despite Nehra’s twin strikes at the top and Mishra justifying his inclusion ahead of Parvez Rasool with a tight spell, Joe Root and Ben Stokes had put England in the driver’s seat going into the death overs.

With 32 required from 24 balls, India had its back to the walls. However, Nehra then trapped Stokes — who had earlier been bowled off a Mishra googly off the first ball only to survive once the replay showed it was a no-ball — and Bumrah followed it up with a three-run over. Jos Buttler pulled it back for England with 10 runs off the last two balls of the penultimate over, thus leaving Bumrah to defend eight runs off the last.

The pacer was first aided by umpire Shamshuddin, who adjudged Root leg-before, with the batsman having edged the ball on to his pads. With Buttler missing an incoming one off the fourth ball, India's victory was sealed.

During India's innings, Rahul ended his drought at the top with a breezy 71 off 47 balls.

After being put in to bat for the second time in four days, Virat Kohli continued to play the aggressor’s role, with Rahul taking his time to get going. Kohli’s cameo was edgy. He was lucky to have seen a top-edge off Tymal Mills in the second over, flying just out of the third-man’s reach; then he was inexplicably ruled not out in the next over by umpire C. Shamshuddin when Chris Jordan appeared to have trapped the India captain plumb in front of the wickets. Kohli eventually holed out Jordan in the fifth over to Liam Dawson at long-on.

The next ball, Rahul hit a spanking lofted drive over covers. It was the 11th ball he faced and the Karnataka batsman didn’t look back for the next 12 overs. He drove the pacers with panache and cleared the long boundary off spinners at will. Still, the India innings never gained the momentum it was looking for.

The left-handed duo of Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh struggled to rotate the strike, especially off spinners. Captain Eoin Morgan employed the spin from seventh till the 14th over. And the trio of Moeen Ali, Adil Rashil and Dawson – included at the expense of pacer Liam Plunkett – conceded only 47 runs off these eight overs, dismissing the left-handed duo in return.

Manish Pandey then joined his Karnataka team-mate and managed to reduce the dot-ball percentage. Soon after Pandey’s arrival, Rahul hit the biggest six of the evening, tonking Dawson into the stands over long-off.

At the end of the 15th over, India was placed at 108 for three and required both the batsmen to switch the gears. However, Rahul couldn’t time a slower ball by Jordan in the 17th over, holing out to Ben Stoken at deep mid-wicket. The death overs then completely belonged to the England pacers, with India managing just a boundary and a six in the last five overs.

Players wear black arm-bands

The Indian contingent expectedly took the field wearing black arm-bands, sharing the grief with the family of strength and conditioning expert, Rajesh Sawant and pacer Mohammed Shami. While Sawant, the India Under-19 trainer, died during his sleep in Mumbai a day before the start of its series against England Under-19, Shami’s father, Tousif Ali, passed away in Amroha on Friday.