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Buttler’s career best, Bairstow’s clinical knock seal England victory

Jos Buttler made his highest Twenty20 International score as England regained their lead in the five-match series against India winning the third game by eight wickets on Tuesday.

Electing to field first at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Virat Kohli’s second consecutive half century steered India to 156-6 in 20 overs. England once again rode on Buttler’s terrific knock before he and Jonny Bairstow clinically finished off the game with 10 balls to spare.

England lost Jason Roy (nine) to spinner Yuzvendra Chahal before Buttler and Dawid Malan (18) anchored the ship with a 58-run second wicket partnership. With run rate under control, Buttler and Bairstow eased the chase with a 100-run partnership.

Bairstow sealed the game with consecutive boundaries off Shardul Thakur and remained unbeaten on 40 off 28. He hit five boundaries. Buttler’s unbeaten 52-ball 83 included five fours and four sixes.  

KL Rahul’s horrible outing continued after he was bowled by Mark Wood for his second consecutive duck in the series. He has scored just one run in the first three matches and now likely makes way for a new opener with two matches remaining.

Indian skipper Kohli looked vintage while finishing in style. PHOTO: BCCI

India started slow and at the same time lost three wickets for 24 runs by the end of the power play. Wood also got rid of Rohit Sharma, back in the team after missing the first two games, for 15. Ishan Kishan, who had a sensational debut in the previous match with a 28-ball half century, fell to Chris Jordan for just four.

Rishabh Pant hit a 20-ball 25 in his 40-run stand with Kohli and from there after it was all Indian skipper who did most of the scoring. Scoring his second consecutive half century, his 27th in Twenty20 Internationals, Kohli smashed a 46-ball 77 not out.

His inning was studded with eight boundaries and four sixes that looked too easy at the big ground in Ahmedabad. He was majority of scorer in a 70-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Hardik Pandya (17).

Wood took 3-31 from four overs after being hit for 17 runs in his last. Jordan snared 2-35 from four.    

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