Eoin Morgan scored 71 off 31 balls © Getty Images (File photo)
Eoin Morgan scored 71 off 31 balls © Getty Images (File photo)

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Sep 7, 2014

Eoin Morgan‘s stroke-filled 71 off 31 balls and Alex Hales‘ cameo upfront helped take England to 180 for seven in the lone T20 International against India at Edgbaston, Birmingham. In a see-saw innings, which saw both sides dominate proceedings at various points, England charged in the slog-overs to ensure they got to a very good score.

Morgan and MS Dhoni were playing their respective 50th T20Is with the former winning the toss and electing to bat. England handed a debut to Jason Roy and brought back Ravi Bopara. India introduced Ambati Rayudu and Karn Sharma in this game. Mohit Sharma came in to replace Bhuvneshwar Kumar from the side that played the fifth One-Day International (ODI). Umesh Yadav was also benched.

The innings started off with a bang with Roy and Alex Hales smashing 17 runs off the first over bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin. Roy began his international career with a reverse-sweep that went for a four. Hales then finishing things off with a boundary through the off-side and a sweep for a six. The last ball of the second over bowled by Mohit Sharma was also hit by Hales down the ground for six.

However, India then pulled things back with a couple of quick strikes. Roy hit Mohammed Shami to Ajinkya Rahane at cover and in the next over, Moeen chipped Mohit to the same fielder at the same spot. England then slowed down a touch, though Joe Root started off with a couple of boundaries through the leg-side. The only blemish in India’s fielding came when Root scooped one high and was put down at square-leg due to some misunderstanding between Karn and Ashwin.

But, apart from that, the fielding was quite good. Hales continued at a decent rate and had smashed Jadeja for a huge six over mid-wicket, but then scooped one down the ground, where Rahane ran in to take a good catch. In the first ten overs, England were 76 for three. Root battled and was clogged by the spinners. He ultimately holed out to deep mid-wicket off Karn for a labored 26 off 29 balls.

From overs 11 to 15, England could only muster 23 runs. Thereafter came the assault with Morgan taking charge. He smashed Ravindra Jadeja for a huge six over long-on and off the next over bowled by Karn, he smashed two length deliveries for sixes through the leg-side. Karn conceded 20 runs off that over and his figures got a little bashing. Although, he did finish with an impressive one for 28 on debut.

Jos Buttler did not get going and smashed Shami to mid-wicket to end on a 15-ball 10. Morgan continued though. He smashed one down the ground for six to get to his fifty and then hit through the off-side for a four. The penultimate over was bowled by Mohit and there was more good work by Morgan. It went for 21 runs, with Morgan smashing three sixes. Morgan was ultimately dismissed for a brilliant 71 off 31 balls when he holed out to long-off in the last over. Rahane took his fourth catch.

Bopara ended the innings on a high by smashing a couple of fours and a six. Shami lost the plot there. India conceded as many as 81 runs in the last five overs.

Brief scores:

England 180 for 7 in 20 overs (Eoin Morgan 71, Alex Hales 40; Mohammed Shami 3 for 38; Karn Sharma 1 for 28) vs India

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