By BV Swagath
A last ball six from the Ice Cool Eoin Morgan clinched a thriller for England in the Second and Final T20I at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Skipper Morgan scored an unbeaten 49 from 26 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes to take England home with a victory for Christmas. India’s bowlers struggled to get in terms with the dew and England with an in-form Alex Hales were on par to chase down the big target of 178.
The victory was set up nicely by a strong opening stand of 80 in 8.2 overs with left-hander Michael Lumb scoring 50 from 34 balls with 6 fours and 2 sixes. Alex Hales who was dropped early by Awana scored a 33-ball 42 with 4 fours and a six. Just when the match was slipping away from India, Yuvraj Singh applied the brakes taking three wickets – Lumb (stumped by Dhoni), Wright (lbw) and Hales (caught sweeping).
England although the required run rate was pretty tough got the runs thanks to Morgan’s perfect finishing act while the talented Jos Buttler helped him along with a 7-ball 15 with a four and a six. Yuvraj Singh was outstanding with the ball once again with 3 for 17 in 4 overs. India’s fast bowlers Ashok Dinda and Parvinder Awana were hammered but they showed plenty of promise with their brisk speeds.
Raina, Dhoni lift India to 177: India despite getting pegged back by wickets in the middle overs and a slow innings from Gambhir ended on a high at 177 for 8 in the second T20I at Mumbai. The dew seems to be having a heavy toll on the outfield and the ball is nicely skidding through off the surface. Suresh Raina with 35* (from 24 balls with 3 fours and a six) and Skipper MS Dhoni with a gem of a cameo – 38 (from 18 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes) helped India get to a total which could be a little too much for England.
Earlier in the innings, Virat Kohli played a delightful knock of 38 from 20 balls with 7 fours. Opener Gautam Gambhir ate 27 balls to score a mere 17 runs before exiting for the good of the team in the 11th over. Rohit Sharma who got a chance in the team scored a 19-ball 24 with a four and a six.
For England, Tim Bresnan bowled well for the first time on this tour for his 1 for 27 in 4 overs. Offie Tredwell was neat as well with 1 for 27 in 4 overs. The Indian innings had two big overs of 20 runs each.
Toss and Teams: England have won the toss and asked India to bat first in the second and final T20I at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Both the teams have made just the one change to their line-ups. For India, Rohit Sharma comes in for Ravindra Jadeja and for England, Joe Root makes his T20I Debut taking the place of Danny Briggs.
India: Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Parvinder Awana, Piyush Chawla, Ashok Dinda
England: Michael Lumb, Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Eoin Morgan (C), Joseph Root, Samit Patel, Jos Buttler (WK), Tim Bresnan, James Tredwell, Stuart Meaker, Jade Dernbach