Rohit Sharma backed up the heroics of pace bowler Hardik Pandya by hitting 100 not out as India clinched the T20 worldwide series at Bristol. Chasing a decent target of 199 on a small ground, India made a bright start with 21 runs on board after the second over but opener Shikhar Dhawan (5) got out immediately as Jake Ball made a fine diving catch at short fine leg.
The sides start a three-game one-day global series on Thursday before playing five tests. Things could have been much different and much worse for India going by the first four balls he bowled which went for 22 runs with two sixes and two fours. We had the quality to bowl those wicket-taking deliveries.
There have been some simply stunning catches taken in England's T20I series with India, but is Chris Jordan's the best of the lot? Virat Kohli had top scored with 47 runs off 38 balls as the visitors struggled to get going after being put into bat.
Chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who was the hero of the first T20I in which he claimed five wickets, was wicket-less in the second game at Cardiff. Some poor bowling from Indian pacers, who either sprayed the ball or bowled too short, helped England in making a bright start. Rohit Sharma became the Man of the match. They won the T20I series 2-1 and impressed one and all with their performance.
England, batting first, could manage only 87 runs from the final 10 overs to post 198-8 in Bristol, despite Jason Roy's 67 from 31 balls. Buttler was dropped by Siddharth Kaul when on 20 with Chahal being the unfortunate bowler.
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The reason for the fantastic start was down to Sharma as a couple of overs after the power play, he brought up his half-century from 28 balls.
Asked if the hosts have a weakness against spin, however, Rahul said: "I don't think it is just England".
Yet if Stokes does return this weekend - and it is understood it may be as a specialist batsman rather than all-rounder as England exercise caution after his hamstring injury - Hales is one of only two plausible options to make way.
Now with scoreboard reading 44/3 in seventh over, Hales came in the middle and tried to steady the ship with skipper Eoin Morgan (17) but the latter failed to support Hales and was dismissed by Hardik Pandya. Hales hit three sixes and four fours in his 41-ball knock to lead England home, and the teams head into the final match of the series in Bristol on Sunday all square.
"It's right up there", Hales said after the match.
Ball, though, conceded 22 off the last over, including a wide and a no-ball that went through to the boundary for five as India finished with a mediocre total of 148-5.