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India bat hard to blow away England and win series

India outplayed England in the fifth and final match to claim the five-game Twenty20 International Series 3-2 in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

With Skipper Virat Kohli promoting himself to open the innings, India exhibited their batting prowess to post an imposing 224-2 before England’s marquee man Dawid Malan fell and got restricted to 188-8.  

England were right there in the game at 130-1 before India struck in a space of ive overs removing the visitors’ key man Malan while giving away just 22 runs.

Shardul Thakur once again picked up two wickets in a single over like he did in the previous match, this time getting rid of Jonny Bairstow (7) followed by the prized scalp of Malan as England succumbed under pressure to climb a mountain.

Bhuvneswar Kumar got rid of Ben Stokes (14) and Jofra Archer (one) was run out in the 19th as the visitors were left with hardly any chance to come back. Sam Curran hit two sixes of Thakur but to no avail.

Malan, who regained his form in the 130-run stand with opener Jos Buttler, signed off from the series with his only half century scoring a 68 off 46. Buttler struck a 34-ball 52. Malan stroked nine boundaries and two sixes, while Buttler innings consisted of four sixes and two fours.

Thakur was hit for 45 in four overs but picked three wickets, two of them to turn the game around.

India displayed their batting prowess shuffling the order as Kohli came in to open the stand and carried the bat with an 80 that mostly came as an ally for other batsmen. He played role of an anchor while Rohit Sharma slammed a 34-ball 64 when Indian lost the latter with 94 runs on the board in nine overs.

Thakur served England a dejavu with another crucial two-wicket over. PHOTO: BCCI

India, particularly, Sharma fired all cylinders right from the outset. Sharma struck five sixes and four boundaries in his innings. Surya Kumar Yadav came and contributed with a 17-ball 32 out of the 49-run stand with Kohli.

The Indian captain then upped the ante collecting 77 runs from the final 40 balls. Pandya smashed 17-ball 39 and rode his luck to return with an innings studded with four fours and two sixes. Kohli now even continues to become the batsman with most half centuries in Twenty20 International half century with his Saturday’s knock of 80 from 52 balls.

Kohli’s innings comprised of two sixes and seven fours. Leg spinner Adil Rashid and Stokes were the only English bowlers to pick up the wickets they took.    

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