Eoin Morgan thrashed Ashok DInda's last ball for a huge six to give England victory. (File Photo)
Scorecard | Hales eyes chance
MUMBAI: We thought Ashok Dinda had done remarkably well. England needed nine to win off the last over of the match and India's fast bowler had turned in the first five balls for just six runs. A prolonged discussion preceded the ultimate delivery and the field was repeatedly tinkered with. It was all to no end, as Eoin Morgan played a captain's shot to end things in style, smashing the last ball for a soaring six back over the bowler's head.
The six-wicket win helped England tie the two-match series 1-1 and prevented India from taking over the No.1 ranking in Twenty20s. Man of the Match Morgan's unbeaten 26-ball 49 capped the perfect platform he had been provided with by openers Michael Lumb (50) and Alex Hales (42), who had rattled up an 80-run stand in a touch above eight overs.
Man of the Series Yuvraj Singh's introduction appeared to have turned the match around. He took three for 17 in his four overs and was by far the pick of India's bowlers. Having chosen to field, England was earlier thwarted by two blistering partnerships in India's innings. The first - 57 runs in a shade under five overs - was helmed by Virat Kohli (38), while the responsibility for the second was shared equally by MS Dhoni (38) and Suresh Raina (35*).
Yuvi strikes after roaring start
The visitors were on 80 in 8.2 overs when Yuvraj struck, having Lumb stumped on his third ball. In his next over, the left-armer trapped new man Luke Wright (5) in front. Yuvraj claimed his third in the form of Hales, who slogged to deep backward square, where Dinda took a good catch on the tumble.
England needed 55 in 5.2 overs at that stage, Morgan having kept them in the hunt with regular fours off the loose Piyush Chawla, and Samit Patel, who was dropped by the leg-spinner at deep square leg before he had troubled the scorers. Patel was finally caught by Gautam Gambhir off Dinda in the 18th, but Morgan tided over the loss by taking 14 in the over, leaving the requirement 23 from 12 balls - something the captain attained through Jos Buttler (15, 7b) and his own last-ball six.
Earlier, brisk alliances on either side of a wickets-induced lull catapulted India to a competitive total. The first alliance of 57 between Kohli and Gambhir was thoroughly dominated by the younger batsman. Kohli hammered seven exquisite boundaries in his 25-ball knock, equally comfortable lacing drives through the off side as he was pulling aggressively through mid wicket.
He all but neutralised Gambhir's listless stay in the middle - this after Ajinkya Rahane was out cheaply in the second over with the score on seven. England appeared to have done well, but Kohli was all class as he yanked up the run rate single-handedly. He took 20 off Luke Wright's last over of the Powerplay, but was out leg before to paceman Stuart Meaker. His wicket put a squeeze on the scoring and Wright followed it up with two more quick wickets - of the struggling Gambhir (17) and Yuvraj (4), who pulled one straight down long on's throat.
Rohit Sharma, in the eleven for all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, heaved a six against off-spinner James Terdwell, but was bowled by the same bowler going for a slog-sweep across the line. Then it was time for the Chennai Super Kings to take over. MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina massacred 60 in 4.3 overs to wrest back the initiative from England.
Dhoni, Raina assume control
The visiting bowlers erred on length on most occasions as the batsmen waded into them. Meaker was genuinely quick, but Raina brutalised him for 20 in the 17th, including an obnoxious swipe over deep midwicket for six. Dernbach, who had dismissed Rahane early, got special punishment from India's captain. Dhoni hammered him for two sixes in the 18th over - one a hook, the other an impudent drive all the way over the long off boundary. The last hit was Dhoni's 100th six in Twenty20 Internationals.
England fielded well, often saving runs and were rewarded when Dhoni was out pulling Tim Bresnan to mid wicket. The skipper's fall allowed England to restore some semblance of normalcy in the last 10-odd balls. But by then Dhoni and Raina had pulled India up to a score that may have proved sufficient were it not for the dew factor - and Morgan's decisive thwack for maximum.