Captain Morgan leaves England in high spirits
Stand-in skipper Eoin Morgan hit a six off the final ball of the match to give England a thrilling six-wicket win over India in Mumbai, as the two-game 20/20 series ended all square.
Chasing 178 for victory after Virat Kohli (38), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (38) and Suresh Raina (35 not out) had powered India to a substantial total, England got off to a great start. Alex Hales and Michael Lumb put on 80 for the first wicket, before the introduction of Yuvraj Singh, just as it had in Pune, change the course of the match.
The all-rounder made the breakthrough with just his second ball, sliding one past Lumb to have him stumped by Dhoni, before also picking up the scalps of Hales and Luke Wright. England were left needing 29 from 13 deliveries, at which stage, India were clear favourites. However, Morgan has long been seen as England’s ‘finisher’ in limited overs cricket and he enhanced his reputation in spectacular style.
Having taken just six from the first five deliveries of the final over from Parvinder Awana, Morgan, on strike for the last ball, required three to win the game. Despite Awana and Dhoni employing several delaying tactics, Morgan was unfazed and clattered a good length ball straight back past the bowler and into the stands.
It was the perfect end to a successful tour of India, and levelled things up after India had won the first game in Pune two days earlier. England batted first in that game, posting a below-par 157-6, after losing their way in the middle overs following another positive start from Hales and Wright. Man of the series Yuvraj picked up 3-19.
In reply, India were always in control, and main man Yuvraj also showed his talents with the bat, hitting three sixes in his 21-ball 38 as the hosts eased to a five-wicket victory.
England now return home for Christmas, before returning to the sub-continent for five one day internationals against the same opponents in the New Year. They will welcome back Test stars Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and captain Alistair Cook for the ODIs having fielded just two test players in the 20/20 games in Samit Patel and Tim Bresnan.
It would seem, though, that their horses-for-courses policy is breeding success.