Sharma, Kohli fire India to record 224-2 in T20 England decider

By: AFP      Published: 08:24 PM, 20 Mar, 2021
Sharma, Kohli fire India to record 224-2 in T20 England decider
England's captain Eoin Morgan (L) fields the ball as India's captain Virat Kohli (R) watches during the fifth and final Twenty20 international cricket match between India and England.

Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli blasted half-centuries as India reached 224 for two to set a new best Twenty20 score against England in the deciding fifth match of their series on Saturday.

With the series level at 2-2, England won the toss in Ahmedabad, but Sharma blasted 64 and put on 94 with Kohli for the first wicket. India's captain made an unbeaten 80.

Sharma hit five sixes in his 34-ball blitz before he dragged a slower leg-cutter from Ben Stokes onto his stumps.

Suryakumar Yadav kept up the attack with a flurry of sixes and fours in his 32 off 17 balls, but a stunning fielding manoeuvre by Chris Jordan cut short his innings.

Yadav hit an Adil Rashid ball to the boundary for a likely six and Jordan sprinted from long-on to attempt a one-handed catch.

He flicked the ball to Jason Roy who completed the relay catch with a laugh.

Kohli stood firm to complete his third 50 of the series and combined with Hardik Pandya as India surpassed their previous best of 218, against England in Durban in the 2007 World Cup.

Kohli, who hit seven fours and two sixes in his 52-ball knock, and Pandya, who smashed 39, put on 81 for the third wicket.

England skipper Eoin Morgan won a crucial toss and elected to bowl in the deciding fifth Twenty20 international against India on Saturday.

With the series level at 2-2, England were unchanged but India captain Virat Kohli will open his side's batting and bowler T. Natarajan came into the 11 in place of batsman K.L. Rahul.

Morgan has won the toss in four of the five games but his decision to chase the total backfired in the fourth match in Ahmedabad when India levelled the series.

"We're still striving to improve -- one area is bowling in powerplay -- and having clarity of roles moving into the World Cup," said Morgan.

Kohli said his aim was to "solidify" the team's batting before the World Cup, which will be held in India in October and November.

Teams

India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rahul Chahar, T Natarajan

England: Eoin Morgan (capt), Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood