Mumbai, Dec 22 — A captain’s innings of unbeaten 49 off 26 balls by Eoin Morgan helped England beat India by six wickets in a last-ball finish in the second Twenty20 international at the Wankhede Stadium here Saturday.
Morgan finished off the match in style with a six off the last ball as England squared the two-match series 1-1 and will head back home for the Christmas break.
Having won the Test series, England were desperate to leave the Indian shores for Christmas on a high note. They certainly did and would be rejuvenated when they return back in the first week of the New Year for the five-match ODI starting Jan 11.
At the packed Wankhede, England put on an all-round superb show after opting to field first. They were excellent on the field but couldn’t prevent India from posting a challenging total of 177 for eight in 20 overs.
Chasing a target of 178, England got off great start with Michael Lumb (50) and Alex Hales (42) adding 80 runs. Lumb smashed two sixes and six fours in his 34-ball knock while Hales hit a six and four four during his 33-ball stay.
Lumb and Hales scored at will and the butter-fingered Indian fielders also added to England’s cause.
When it looked that England would sail easily, left-arm spinner Yuvraj Singh (3/17) churned out his best performance to reduce the visitors from 80 for no loss to 123 for three.
Stunned with the loss of three quick wickets, England got its innings back on track — thanks to a crucial 26-run stand between Morgan and Samit Patel (9).
Patel perished in his attempt to hit out Ahsok Dinda (1/44). An indomitable Morgan then joined forces with Jos Butler (15 not out) to take England home with their 32-run stand for the fifth wicket.
But nonetheless it was a thrilling finish. England needed 23 runs off the last 12 balls. Butler smashed a six and four off Parwinder Awana as 14 runs came off the penultimate over.
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni turned to Dinda for the most crucial over of the match. Dinda bowled tightly leaving England needing three runs to win off the last ball. Morgan smashed the last ball straight over Dinda’s head to wrap up the match in style for England.
Earlier put in, riding on crucial innings from Virat Kohli (38), Dhoni (38) and Suresh Raina (35) helped India get a challenging target on board despite a poor start.
Opener Ajinkya Rahane (3) fell early while Gautam Gambhir struggled for his 17 off 27 balls.
Kohli got his act right and scored briskly for his 38 off 20 balls before being trapped leg-before by Stuart Meaker. Yuvraj Singh (4) was Luke Wright’s (2/38) second victim while Rohit Sharma was castled by James Tredwel despite having scored 24 off 19 balls.
Suddely India were left struggling at five for 108. It was then left to a valuable 60-run stand between Dhoni and Raina took India to a competitive total.