India post 144/8 against England in second T20I

Nagpur, Jan 29 (IANS) India posted 144/8 against England in the second Twenty-20 International (T20I) match at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium here on Sunday.

England need 145 runs in their allotted 20 overs to win their first limited-overs series in India since 1984.

Opener K.L. Rahul was the top scorer for the hosts while Manish Pandey contributed with a crucial 30 runs.

Put in to bat, Indian openers Virat Kohli and Rahul started the innings cautiously by playing the ball to its merit.

After four overs, Kohli, who slammed 21 runs in 15 balls, failed to continue his aggressive batting as he was dismissed by pacer Chris Jordan.

Jordan bowled a slower and wider ball, to which Kohli stepped out for a lofted shot but ended up getting caught at long-on to Liam Dawson.

Incoming batsman Suresh Raina (7), who impressed in the last match at Kanpur, was sent back by leg-spinner Adil Rashid after only two overs.

The recalled left-hander tried to slog sweep but ended up hitting the ball straight to Jordan at long-on.

After eight overs, India were struggling at 56/2 with two premier batsmen departing cheaply.

Rahul, who seemed to be in good nick, played his regular shots and signalled his return to form while incoming batsman Yuvraj Singh failed to step up to the occasion, being sent packing in the 11th over while trying a sweep to spinner Moeen Ali. The Punjab batsman was adjudged leg before wicket.

Unperturbed by the fall of wickets, Rahul went on to slam a quick-fire fifty. His 32-ball knock was laced with three boundaries and two massive sixes.

The fall of Yuvraj’s wicket brought in Manish Pandey, who along with Rahul helped the hosts to get past 100-run mark in the 14th over.

Both batsmen forged a 56-run fourth-wicket partnership before Rahul was caught by Ben Strokes at deep mid-wicket.

Jordan bowled a slower delivery on the off-stump to end an impressive 47-ball knock of Rahul.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni then joined Pandey and together they made their intentions clear right from the beginning of their partnership.

Pandey slammed a huge six off a slower and fuller delivery of pacer Tymal Mills. The 27-year-old got underneath the ball and muscled it out of the field. But he was bowled out by Mills in the same over.

In the last over, the hosts failed to press the accelerator, only managing five runs, losing three wickets in the process.

For England, Jordan scalped 3-22 to be the most successful while Mills, Ali and Rashid chipped in with a wicket each.

Brief score: India: 144/8 (K.L.Rahul 71, Manish Pandey 21; Chris Jordan 3-22) against England.