Nehra, Bumrah help India level T20 series

NAGPUR: England’s Ben Stokes (l) bowls out during the second T20 cricket match between India and England at the Vidarbha Cricket Association’s Jamtha stadium in Nagpur yesterday. — AFP

NAGPUR: Fast bowler Ashish Nehra claimed three wickets as he combined with Jasprit Bumrah to choke the England batting and set up India’s series levelling five-run win in the second Twenty20 international in Nagpur yesterday. Chasing 145 for victory, England needed eight off the final over but Bumrah claimed two wickets and gave away just two runs to help the hosts even out the three-match series at 1- 1.

Joe Root, who looked like anchoring the chase with a run-a-ball 38, was given out lbw off Bumrah on the first ball of the 20th over as replays suggested the batsman got an inside edge before the ball hit his pads. Bumrah (2- 20) bowled Jos Buttler (15) on the fourth delivery and never allowed Chris Jordan and Moeen Ali to score the remaining runs on the final two balls as England ended on 139 for 6. Earlier Lokesh Rahul hit a 47-ball 71 to help India post 144-8 despite England seamer Chris Jordan’s three wickets after the visitors elected to field first.

Nehra hurt the England chase with early strikes after getting openers Sam Billings (12) and Jason Roy (10) on consecutive deliveries of his second over. England’s most trusted batting pair in skipper Eoin Morgan and Root then got down to resurrect the innings against a persistent Indian spin attack. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra broke the dangerous-looking stand — 43 runsafter getting Morgan caught at deep mid-wicket for 17 to claim his 200th T20 wicket.

Mishra would have got another wicket in the same over after getting Ben Stokes bowled, but the spinner was found to have overstepped the popping crease and the delivery was judged a no ball. Stokes, who hit a 27-ball 38, capitalised on Mishra’s blunder to play a calculative knock, putting on 52 runs with Root. Nehra got Stokes trapped lbw in the 17th over to raise India’s hopes and Bumrah, who bowled the 18th and the final over, made no mistakes.

In the Indian innings, skipper Virat Kohli, who opened the innings for the second successive time in the series, made a quickfire 21 before falling to Jordan. Rahul kept his composure and his end busy with runs despite England spinners, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali, getting a wicket each to reduce the hosts to 69 for three. Rahul, who hit 6 fours and 2 sixes during his knock, got to his fifty and more before Jordan got the prized wicket in the 18th over as the Indian batting slipped further. The third match is slated in Bangalore on February 1. — AFP

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