Mumbai: Needing three runs to win on the last ball, Eoin Morgan cracked a six off Ashok Dinda as England registered one of the most memorable wins, beating India by six wickets and levelling the two-match Twenty20 series 1-1 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Saturday.
The loss also denied India a chance to become the No. 1 ranked Twenty20 side in the world. Morgan’s blitzkrieg (49 off 26) stole the limelight from MS Dhoni, his counterpart who too played a cameo of 38 off 18 balls to help India post a challenging total of 177. Jos Buttler, the England wicketkeeper, too made an unbeaten quickfire 15 off 7 balls to help his skipper chase the target.
While Yuvraj Singh once again shone with the ball, picking up 3 for 17 in his four overs, both Dinda and Parvinder Awana went for plenty, giving away 1 for 44 and none for 42 in their quota of overs.
England were provided a blistering start by openers Michael Lumb (50 off 34) and Alex Hales (42 off 33) , who put on 80 runs for the first wicket in just over eight overs. England needed 23 off the last two overs and 14 of them came in the penultimate over of Awana. Morgan hit Dinda for a straight six to seal the match in England's favour.
Earlier, Kohli, Dhoni and Raina (35* off 24) played useful cameos to power India to a challenging total. Kohli provided the hosts a rousing start, smashing 20-ball 38. He also added 57 with Gautam Gambhir (17) for the second wicket.
But India lost their way when four wickets fell between the seventh and 15th overs before skipper Dhoni onslaught stunned the visitors. He and Raina provided the late spark, stringing 60 runs in just 27 balls for the sixth wicket. Rohit Sharma too struck a few crisp shots in his 19-ball 24, but Ajinkya Rahane (3) and Yuvraj Singh (4), the Man of the Match in the first T20 in Pune, failed to make an impact.
Opting to field, England started on a disciplined note before Kohli and later on Dhoni and Raina took them to the cleaner's. Tim Bresnan was the pick of the England bowlers, troubling the Indian batsmen and picking up 1 for 27. offspinner James Tredwell and pacer Stuart Meaker too claimed one wicket each, while Jade Dernbach and Luke Wright scalped two wickets apiece.
Kohli hit seven boundaries and once he got out, England took control with some brilliant out-fielding, before Dhoni and Raina wrested back the advantage. The arrival of Kohli gave the Indian innings the push they needed. The 24-year-old started by striking two fours off Dernbach, while he went berserk in the last powerplay over bowled by Wright, cracking the bowler for four boundaries.