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India thump England to clinch T20 series after Rohit Sharma century

13 July 2018
India thump England to clinch T20 series after Rohit Sharma century

Rohit Sharma's superb unbeaten century led India to a seven-wicket win over England in a run-filled third and final Twenty20 worldwide on Sunday to earn the touring side a 2-1 victory in the series. Pacer Deepak Chahar, who was handed his first worldwide T20I cap, went for plenty of runs but was instrumental in claiming Roy's wicket.

India rarely looked troubled in their run-chase, despite losing Shikhar Dhawan early to a superb, low catch from Ball at short fine leg. However, not once did he panic and ultimately reached the milestone in the penultimate over of India's innings. Hardik Pandya, who came in for Kohli, immediately found the boundaries and India needed just 29 from the last three overs to win the match.

Virat Kohli was left to lament the loss of early wickets as India's seven-coordinate winning streak in T20 Internationals arrived at an end in Cardiff on Friday.

Then Pandya was promoted up the order to produce a quickfire 33 not out that got India home in front of a crowd that was mostly fans supporting the away team.

"But it was brilliant to bounce back in a must-win game ..."

Hardik returned with career best bowling figures (4/38) but England posted a challenging 198/9. Britain won the second match by five wickets to attract level the three-coordinate arrangement - the decider will be played on Sunday. Rohit then launched on Plunkett with a six and a four in the 11th over and captain Virat Kohli, who came on the crease at the fall of Rahul, joined the party with a six in the next over to place India well on course of the target.

Five - MS Dhoni's five catches in England's innings was a new Twenty20 global record - and the veteran wicketkeeper added a run-out from the last ball for good measure. 225 or 235 would have been more of a hard chase (on that ground). While it didn't help Root in particular as he failed to read the googly for a second match running, it did allow Alex Hales to build partnerships and anchor their win.

Kaul finally ended the carnage by rattling the stumps as Buttler tried to swipe across the line. Chahar then got his first global scalp with a slower delivery that the risky Roy flicked to Dhoni behind the stumps.

England captain Eoin Morgan shuffled his bowlers but saw David Willey hoisted over long-off for six by Rohit, before Pandya angled the same bowler for back-to-back fours in the 18th over.

For England, it will be lower order batsman Alex Hales who remained unbeaten 58, Bairstow, opening pair Roy, Buttler and Eoin Morgan are the main part of the batting line-up. "We had to bowl wicket taking deliveries because 20 or 30 runs can be massive". A 2-1 victory wouldn't be enough as that would keep England on 125 points and India on 123.