BENGALURU: After losing the fifth Test at Edgbaston, India thrashed England by 50 runs in the first T20I played at Southampton to take 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma, who had missed the fifth Test, won the toss and opted to bat. The dashing right-hander looked in sterling touch as he whipped out five boundaries in the first three overs. But his innings was curtailed by off-spinner Moeen Ali who had him caught behind for 24. The tweaker also hustled out another opener Ishan Kishan in his next over.
The all-rounder Deepak Hooda and Suryakumar Yadav reeled off a few sparkling shots and added 43 runs for the third wicket before Hooda was dismissed by Chris Jordan for breezy 33. Suryakumar cracked four boundaries and two sixes as he raced to 39 in no time. But he too was sent to the pavilion by Jordan.
Hardik Pandya, who has been in stellar form since the IPL, once again stepped up and thumped a brisk half-century. Hardik showed immense maturity and steered India with skill. He scored 51 off 33 balls as India reached 189-8 in 20 overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar castled England captain Jos Buttler in the first over by a booming inswinger to give India an early breakthrough. The other opener, Jason Roy, scratched around for 4 runs off 16 balls before becoming the first victim of Pandya.
Pandya bowled with stinging zing and ripped through England’s batting line-up as he snapped up four wickets. After he prised out Dawid Malan and dangerous Liam Livingstone, England were left wobbling at 33-4. Though Moeen and later Jordan hammered a few huge blows, England were never in the hunt after their top-order was summarily decimated.
In the end, the hosts were skittled out for 148 in 19.3 overs and fell to 50-run defeat. Pandya was adjudged Man of the Match for his brilliant all-round performance.