Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah help India level Twenty20 series against England

Skipper Virat Kohli lavishes praise on his fast bowlers after a series levelling five-run win in the second T20 international in Nagpur

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 January, 2017, 11:50am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 January, 2017, 9:52pm

Skipper Virat Kohli on Sunday lavished praise on his fast bowlers after Jasprit Bumrah choked the England batting to hand India a series levelling five-run win in the second Twenty20 international in Nagpur.

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.

Bumrah, the pacer, combined with veteran seamer Ashish Nehra, who claimed three wickets, to keep the Eoin Morgan-led England side down to 139-6.

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), who was named the man of the match, 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.

“The way the bowlers responded. The way the spinners bowled in the middle phase and these two guys Bumrah and Ashish Nehra were outstanding,” Kohli said in the post-match presentation.

“It’s important to have that belief ... to defend 46-45 overs in the last five overs with dew, when it’s difficult to grip the ball, I think is an outstanding effort,” he added.

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Earlier Lokesh Rahul hit a 47-ball 71 to help India post 144-8, a total which proved competitive, 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 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 runs – after 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, finished off perfectly for the hosts.

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“He (Nehra) knew exactly what he wanted to do, Bumrah was asking me every ball what I thought he should do.

“I told him ‘back your skills, back yourself, even if it goes for a six you wake up tomorrow it’s not the end of the world’,” said Kohli.

In the Indian innings, 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.

“We bowled really well to back up our previous performance with the ball. These last two games we have been right on the money. All credit to the bowlers,” said Morgan.

The third and deciding match is slated in Bangalore on February 1.