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India beat England by 36 runs, clinch the series 3-2

India dominated the fifth T20I, defeating England by 36 runs to win the series 3-2.

Since both teams had won the series equally, Saturday’s match was a series decider. It had the feel of a world cup match because it featured two of the world’s best T20I teams competing against each other.

The Indian players absolutely dominated the match in Ahmedabad yesterday. They initially lost the toss, but Indian captain Virat Kohli had a plan B in mind, and Indian batsmen came out to play with the sole intention of scoring massive runs.

India scored 224 runs on a pitch that is favorable to the team batting second. After KL Rahul’s repeated failures, India decided to drop him, and Virat Kohli opened the innings alongside Rohit Sharma.

It was a feast for Indian fans, as the Indian captain and vice-captain opened the innings together for the first time in T20 cricket. It was a wise decision by the Indian captain, as he was able to lay the foundation for the team by scoring 80 runs in 52 balls.

On one side, Rohit Sharma smashed the English bowlers and scored a brilliant half-century (64 runs in 34 balls), while Kohli just rotated the strike and supported the Indian vice-captain. After putting up a 94-run stand, Rohit Sharma was dismissed in the ninth over, and Surykumar Yadav took his place.

From there, it was all Yadav as he thrashed the bowlers for 32 runs in just 17 balls. The situation wasn’t different when power hitter Hardik Pandya arrived at the crease in the 14th over. The Indian all-rounder stroke at 229 and scored 39 runs in just 17 balls. India set a massive target of 224 runs for the visitors, which is India’s highest ever score against England in T20s.

Even though there was dew in the second innings, Indian bowlers were able to put pressure on England batsmen. Indian pacer Bhuvaneshwar Kumar played an impressive innings, conceding just 15 runs in four overs and taking two critical wickets of Jos Buttler and Jason Roy.

The current world’s best T20 batsman, Dawid Malan (68 off 46 balls), and Jos Buttler (52 off 34 balls), shocked the hosts by putting on a 130-run partnership. But it didn’t last long, as Bhuvaneshwar Kumar took the wicket of Buttler in the 13th over and Shardul Thakur bowled Malan in the 14th.

The English batsmen lost momentum after that, and the pressure was put back on them by Indian fast bowlers. Bhuvaneshwar took two wickets, while Thakur took three and became the series’ leading wicket taker (8 wickets). Hardik Pandya and T Natarajan each took one wicket as well.

Bhuvaneshwar Kumar was named Player of the Match for his outstanding bowling performance on a batting pitch. Virat Kohli was awarded Player of the Series for his stellar performance in the series, in which he scored 231 runs including three fifties.

There are three One-Day International (ODI) matches coming up in this tour. The first game will be played on March 23rd in Pune.

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