Yadav and Pandya help India to series-levelling win over England


stunning first innings for India from Suryakumar Yadav and fine bowling from Hardik Pandya levelled the T20 series at 2-2 against England, setting up a decider on Saturday. 

India became the first team to win this series having lost the toss. They were asked to bat, and Yadav powered them to 185 in 20 overs. 

That proved too many for England, although the chase was alive until the penultimate ball thanks to an excellent 46 from 23 balls from Ben Stokes and some late slogging from Jofra Archer. 

Adil Rashid bowled a beautiful googly to have Virat Kohli stumped but, again, Mark Wood and Archer were the outstanding bowlers. Archer finished with 4-33 but Wood, with 1-25, was even better. 

They were excellent up top, again, but it was returning at the death that they really saved England. After an expensive 18th over from Chris Jordan, India were 167 for five, with the set Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya threatening to propel them to 200. But the pair rustled up two fine overs to ensure England were only chasing 185. The trouble is that it was too little, too late as England had already conceded too many. 

Again, India’s senior batsmen struggled today. But those less certain of their places were superb, and are pushing each other on. With Ishan Kishan injured, Yadav got a first international innings after years of excellence for Mumbai Indians. He pulled Archer for six first ball, and never looked back, playing some spectacular strokes, especially off Adil Rashid, who he took for 23 runs from eight balls. 

He was replaced at the crease by Shreyas Iyer, who drove his first ball for a handsome four and also played with extreme aggression, until falling slogging in the final over. India have incredible depth, but working out how to piece it all together is a challenge which might involve some uncomfortable conversations. 

England were twice on the right of marginal third umpire calls that had plenty to do with a soft signal given by the on-field official standing dozens of yards away. 

First, Yadav was caught by the tumbling Dawid Malan trying to guide Sam Curran for a second straight six. Live, it looked out, but on closer inspection the ball appeared to touch the ground as Malan’s hands split as he dived forward. The poor third umpire Virender Sharma spent four minutes deciding that he could not find conclusive evidence to overturn the soft signal, so Yadav was sent on his way. He would have been right to feel mighty aggrieved, though. 

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