A much improved England proved to be a better side on the 22-yard strip in Cardiff on Friday night after they guided their team to a five-wicket victory against India in the second T-20 International, thanks to the unbeaten (58 runs off 41 balls) by Alex Hales.
The English players who were tormented by chinaman Kuldeep Yadav in the tournament opener managed to tackle him well. Yadav struggled to repeat his heroics in Manchester and ended wicketless , conceding 34 runs in his spell of four overs. The post match presentation saw both the captains, Virat Kohli and Eoin Morgan, agreeing that England’s handling of Kuldeep made the difference in the match.
“Conditions were different today. Kuldeep’s a very good bowler and he’ll bowl well the majority of the time. But I thought conditions at Old Traffort suited him more than conditions today. With the pace and bounce of the wicket that the seamers might have dominated a bit more, but I thought our plans were a lot clearer. We played him well,” Morgan said.
The Indian captain also felt that tackling Kuldeep Yadav was the key behind England’s success in the second match. “They played Kuldeep really well today, and that was the difference in the middle overs this time. They did their homework and played Kuldeep really well. Need to get back day after,” Kohli opined after the match.
Winning the toss, England elected to bowl and managed to restrict India to 148/5. The English fast bowlers managed to put the men in blue under pressure by making the good use of the pitch that had some extra bounce.
“We were pushed back initially in the first six. Our powerplay was not good enough, and the score in the end reflects that,” Kohli said.
The openers failed to stay at the crease and departed early with Rohit Sharma scoring 5 runs and Shikhar Dhawan gathering only10 runs to his kitty. First game’s centurion K L Rahul (6) also could not offer much with the bat on a surface that had extra layering of grass.
Kohli (47), who was the top scorer, along with experienced — Raina (27 off 20 balls) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (32 not out off 24 balls)—stabilized the innings. India were restricted to 148-5. Chasing 149, England could not get a good start as Umesh Yadav bowled Jason Roy (15) in the third over with a beautiful delivery that came back to the right-handed batsman. At the end of the match, the figures for Yadav read (2-36)
Riding on Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow’s innings, England managed to surpass India’s 148 in the last over of the match.