NEW DELHI: India beat England at their own game by delivering a masterclass on death bowling with the duo of Ashish Nehra (3/28) and Jasprit Bumrah (2/20) combining to defend a modest total in the second T20I of the three-match series to help their side draw level on Sunday. Helped by KL Rahul's well-crafted 71, India put up 144/8 and then restricted England to 139/6 to pull off an epic five-run win at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Jamtha.
The foundation of the thrilling finish was laid by old warhorse Nehra who turned the tables by bowling a terrific 17th over. England needed 32 from 24 before Nehra began the over and he not only prised out the wicket of dangerman Ben Stokes (38) but also plugged the leak of runs, allowing just five in it. His younger protege Bumrah took cue and tightened the noose further by delivering four dot balls in an over from which Jos Buttler and Joe Root could only muster a single and a couple. With two runs needed per ball to seal a series clinching win, Buttler pulled a short delivery to midwicket region for a four and launched the final ball over long-on for a six to cream 16 runs from the Nehra over.
It fell to Bumrah to defend seven in the final over and he came out with flying colours. He trapped Root lbw first ball and then castled Buttler (15) to land the finishing blow. With six needed from the final delivery, Moeen Ali failed to connect as India kept the series alive.
It was Nehra who gave India a head start in the defense by getting rid of both England openers Sam Billings (12) and Jason Roy (10) in one over. When the visitors looked to have recovered from those early blows, Amit Mishra, who replaced Parvez Rasool in the playing XI, struck with the wicket of Eoin Morgan (17), leaving them at 65/3 in 10.1 overs. He could have given India an upperhand had he not overstepped in the same over - Stokes was bowled first ball but replay showed Mishra had bowled a no ball. Stokes ended up with 38 runs and giving India a major scare.
On a wicket where scoring runs wasn't a cakewalk, KL Rahul marked his return to form with a well-crafted 71 but England kept India to a modest total. Chris Jordan starred for the visitors with figures of 3/22 as their bowlers delivered yet another strong performance.