Leading his side from the front, Virat Kohli scored a match defining 80 off 52 balls as India won the fifth and final T20I against England by 36 runs and clinched the series 3-2. Kohli, who generally comes in to bat at number three, tweaked his batting position going into the encounter and promoted himself as an opener. His move turned out to be decisive as Kohli along with his deputy Rohit Sharma added 94 runs for the opening wicket, thus laying the perfect platform for others to join in and capitalise.
The proceedings in the final encounter kicked-off with England skipper Eoin Morgan winning the toss and inviting the hosts to bat first. Adil Rashid, who was handed the responsiblity to lead England’s attack with the ball, started off economical first over and gave just three runs.
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 20, 2021
However, Kohli and Rohit switched gears after the completion of the first over and welcomed Jofra Archer with a boundary and smashed a six on his final delivery. Batting at a net run-rate of 10.00 per over, the pair fetched 60 runs in the powerplays.
Rohit then went on to complete his half-century, however, his celebration was soon cut short by Ben Stokes as the all-rounder cleaned up the Indian opener on 64(34).
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Following his dismissal, Suryakumar Yadav joined his skipper in the tenth over and continued from where he left in the previous innings. The Mumbai Indians batsman, who notched up his maiden T20I half-century in the previous encounter, slammed consecutive sixes to Rashid right after arriving at the crease.
After Rashid, Suryakumar picked Chris Jordan as his second victim and slammed the England seamer for three consecutive fours in the 12th over. However, like the previous encounter where the middle-order batsman fell for a controversial dismissal, Suryakumar on this occasion was stunned by Jordan, as he along with Jason Roy completed a brilliant relay catch at long-on.
By the time Suryakumar (32 off 17) was dismissed, he had done his part as hosts enroute towards a gigantic first-innings total with the score reading 143/2 and more than six overs still remaining in the innings.
Kohli then led the charge along with India’s top all-rounder Hardik Pandya as the pair stitched 81 runs together. During the process, Kohli also went on to complete his 28th half-century in T20Is, while Pandya slammed 39 off 17 balls as India piled their highest total against England in T20Is (224/2 in 20 overs).
In response, England got off to a dreadful start losing in-form batsman Jason Roy in the first over. But Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan kept the visitors in hunt until the 13th over, before Bhuvneshwar Kumar provided India with the much-needed breakthrough.
The Indian seamer dismissed Buttler on 52 off 34 deliveries, following which England suffered a major batting collapse and could only manage 188/8 in their 20 overs.