Morgan leads England to victory in one-off T20

Eoin Morgan scored 49 off 27 balls studded with seven boundaries and a six Getty Images

By Ashish Shukla

Manchester: Aug 31, 2011

Eoin Morgan’s quickfire 49 outshone debutant Ajinkya Rahane’s 39-ball 61 as England extended their Test dominance over India to Twenty20 as well, beating the visitors by six wickets in a one-off match on Wednesday.

Morgan, who struck 49 off 27 balls, was the hero of England’s chase of 166, striking seven fours and a six.

Morgan put on 73 runs for the fourth wicket with Ravi Bopara (31) off only 49 balls to lead England to a comprehensive victory despite Rahane’s 61 off 39 balls.

Jade Dernbach (four for 22) and captain Stuart Broad (two for 37) helped the hosts with a flurry of wickets as the visitors scored only 61 runs, losing nine wickets in the final eight overs.

Thirty-three of these runs were scored by Suresh Raina who marked Tim Bresnan and Broad for special attention, smashing them for three sixes, as he took only 19 balls for his cameo.

The hosts, who won the Test series 4-0, gave Indians a lesson in Twenty20 cricket as well, scoring their runs with a mix of defence and attack.

The visitors, in contrast, appeared to play to the gallery and largely got their runs in fours and sixes as many as 92 of 165 came off boundaries.

England lost debutant Alex Hales (0) to Praveen Kumar off only the second ball of the innings but the experienced Kevin Pietersen gave impetus to the innings with a stroke-filled 33 off 23 balls with five fours.

Pietersen and opener Craig Kieswetter (18) guided England to 54 for one in the power-play but then the hosts lost both of them in the space of three runs to bring the match back on an even keel.

Kieswetter offered a simple catch at short cover and Pietersen was stumped off the first ball by Virat Kohli.

Morgan then seized back the initiative with 17 runs off Rohit Sharma in the ninth over of the innings, slamming the part-time off-spinner for two fours and a massive six over mid-on.

England were 90 for three at the end of the 10th over.

They took two balls more than India did for their 100 runs –68 balls to India’s 66 balls.

Morgan played a sensible knock but departed unhappily as he believed Rohit Sharma at point hadn’t caught him cleanly off Munaf Patel.

But after Morgan departed at 134 for four in the 16th over, the hosts needed just 32 off 29 balls.

Bopara and Samit Patel (25) then ran briskly between the wickets and hit the odd boundaries to bring the equation to 13 from the final two overs.

Munaf Patel bowled the penultimate over, a brilliant effort as he conceded only three runs from the over.

Needing 10 off the final over, bowled by Vinay Kumar, the first delivery was a wide and the next three were hit for fours by Patel as England reached home with three balls to spare.

Earlier, the young Rahane announced himself onto international stage in blazing style and Raina exacted his revenge.

The Mumbai opener had the packed stands in raptures as he produced almost every stroke in the book to rattle up 61 off 39 balls with eight fours in his maiden innings in international cricket.

Brought in as replacement of Virender Sehwag earlier this week, Rahane gave India a quick start of 39 from four-odd overs with Parthiv Patel (10) and reached his half century off only 29 balls with as many as eight fours.

England’s pace trio of Bresnan, Jade Dernbach and captain Broad tried to intimidate the young right-hander with short-pitched deliveries but nearly every such attempt was met with a ferocious pull or hook by the right-hander.

Patel got the innings going with a good-looking backfoot drive into covers off Bresnan but thereafter Rahane took over and hit boundaries at will.

He began with a lofted cut over covers off Dernbach and then twice pulled short deliveries from Bresnan and Broad.

As Broad and Dernbach persisted with bouncing deliveries, Rahane produced three more fours off such deliveries in breathtaking style.

India lost Patel in the fifth over when the left-hander played too early at a slower Dernbach delivery and lofted a catch to mid-on.

Rahul Dravid walked into play his maiden and possibly only Twenty20 innings and surprised everyone by hitting three successive sixes off left-arm spin of Samit Patel.

Dravid (31 off 21 balls) left in the 12th over but the innings was already past the 100-run mark. The veteran batsman hit the part-time medium-pace of Ravi Bopara straight into the hands of short extra cover.

The innings went into a tailspin at this stage and India lost four wickets for the addition of only 17 runs.

After Dravid was dismissed, Broad took two wickets off successive balls –both Rahane and Virat Kohli (4) falling for aggressive strokes. (PTI)

Brief Scores: India 165 all out in 19.4 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 61, Suresh Raina 33, Rahul Dravid 31; Jade Dernbach 4 for 22, Stuart Broad 2 for 37) lost to England 169 for 4 in 19.3 overs (Eoin Morgan 49, Kevin Pietersen 33, Ravi Bopara 31*; Munaf Patel 2 for 25) by 6 wickets.

Man of the Match: Jade Dernbach

Full Scorecard