Ahmedabad, 14 Mar: Ishan Kishan”s fearless half-century on debut and skipper Virat Kohli”s perfectly paced knock set up a series-levelling seven wicket win for India in the second T20 International against England here on Sunday.
Kishan smashed 56 off 32 balls at the top of the order and felt completely at home on the big stage, having played enough IPL cricket in a similar environment.
Chase master Kohli (73 not out off 49 balls) took charge after Kishan”s dismissal to power India to victory with 13 balls to spare.
The Indian bowlers put up a disciplined effort to restrict England to 164 for six in 20 overs after Kohli opted to bowl.
India did not have the best of starts in the chase as they lost KL Rahul in the opening over for naught, caught by Jos Buttler behind the stumps off left-arm pacer Sam Curran.
Kishan, known for his attacking batting, made a formidable England attack look ordinary with his disdainful hitting. His sensational knock comprised five fours and four sixes.
Kishan and Kohli took the attack to the opposition to stitch a quickfire 95-run stand for the second wicket.
Kishan was caught plumb in front of the wicket by Adil Rashid in the 10th over but he had done his job by then.
Kohli and Rishabh Pant (26 off 13) then shared 36 runs for the third wicket before the latter gave a simple catch to Jonny Bairstow off Chris Jordan in the 14th over to raise England”s hopes.
But it was not to be as Kohli anchored the chase perfectly. The skipper ended the game with a six off Jordan.
Earlier, Indian bowlers pulled things back brilliantly in the last five overs to concede 34 runs in the last five overs.
Sent into bat, England suffered an early jolt in the form of Jos Buttler (0), who was adjudged off Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the third ball of the innings.
Jason Roy (46 off 35) and Dawid Malan (24 off 23) shared 63 runs off 47 balls to take the England innings forward.
But the dangerous-looking partnership was broken by Yuzvendra Chahal in the ninth over when he trapped Malan LBW in front of the crease as India got the review right on this occasion.
Just when Roy was looking dangerous, he was caught at deep square leg by Bhuvneshwar off Washington Sundar”s bowling in the 12th over.
Washington struck again in his next over when he has Jonny Bairstow (20) caught by debutant Suryakumar Yadav at deep square leg.
England captain Eoin Morgan (28 off 20) was the next casualty as in search of big hits, he edged a Shardul Thakur slower delivery to Pant behind the stumps.
At 130 for four in the 15th over, England looked well in course of reaching a near 200-run target but the Indian bowlers bowled brilliantly to concede just 34 runs in the last five overs.
Washington (2/29) and Thakur (2/29) were the pick of the bowlers for India. (PTI)