Southampton [UK], July 8 (ANI): A half-century from Hardik Pandya and solid knocks from Suryakumar Yadav and Deepak Hooda powered India to a powerful 198/8 against England in the first T20I here at Southampton on Thursday.
The innings was a pretty good one for India. The Men in Blue displayed aggression and attacking intent throughout the innings. Though English bowlers kept getting wickets regularly and did not allow long partnerships to happen, India still posted a challenging total on the board thanks to Pandya (51), Suryakumar Yadav (39) and Deepak Hooda (33).
Electing to bat first, India got off to a solid start. Captain Rohit Sharma hit medium-pacer Sam Curran for four in the first over and Reece Topley for two fours in the second over. He continued to look good, hitting spinner Moeen Ali for two fours in the next over before being dismissed by him with assistance from the safe hands of wicketkeeper Jos Buttler. Rohit was back in the hut for 24 off 14 balls, after stitching a solid 29-run opening stand off 17 balls with Ishan Kishan.
Deepak Hooda was next at number 3 and he announced his arrival by smashing Moeen Ali for two straight sixes in the fifth over.
A struggling Kishan was back in pavillion for 8 off 9 balls, dismissed by Moeen after bat hit the top-edge of his willow and went straight to Matt Parkinson at short fine leg. India was at 46-2.
This brought Suryakumar Yadav out to the crease. Hooda continued with his attacking strokeplay, taking India to 66/2 at the end of their powerplay, with him (29*) and Suryakumar Yadav (4*).
Hooda and Yadav continued to hit English bowlers for some big hits and maintained some good running between the wickets.
In the ninth over, pacer Chris Jordan got the breakthrough, dismissing Hooda for an attacking 33 off 17 balls, consisting of three fours and two sixes. The 43-run stand between Hooda-Yadav was over and the score read 89/3 for India after Tymal Mills pulled off a good catch at short backward square.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya was up next on the crease. He hit Parkinson for two brilliant fours in the tenth over, with one flying over the bowler's head in the long-off region. India reached the hundred-run mark in 9.4 overs.
At end of 10 overs, India was at 105/3, with Hardik Pandya (10*) and Suryakumar Yadav (25*).
The duo continued to smash bowlers for some big hits for a while. The partnership was cut-short at 37 runs after a ball hitting Suryakumar's thumb went straight into the hands of Buttler, sending him back for an impactful 39 off 19 balls. India was now at 126/4 in 11.4 overs.
Axar Patel, the bowling all-rounder was next up on the crease. Pandya-Patel duo feasted on Liam Livingstone's spin, hitting him for three fours collectively in his over.
The duo continued to keep the scoreboard ticking, taking India to the 150-run mark in the 14th over.
At the end of 15 overs, India was in a commanding position at 157/4, with Hardik Pandya (40*) and Axar Patel (8*). Wickets had fallen for India, but India still had the upper hand thanks to their run rate and intent.
Patel-Pandya duo kept English bowlers in search of wickets. It was Parkinson who struck for England in the 17th over, sending back Axar for 17 off 11 balls after he was caught by Jason Roy in the covers region while attempting to go big. Half of the Indian team was back in the hut for 171 runs.
Pandya soon brought up his maiden T20I half-century. Dinesh Karthik was at the crease to help India get through the death overs without any further damage.
Topley got Pandya for 51 off 33, after debutant Harry Brook caught him at deep point position.
Harshal Patel was next up on the crease. Dinesh Karthik started off the final over with two fours. Though on the next balls, bowler Tymal Mills had the last laugh, dismissing Karthik for 11 after he was caught by Curran at point while attempting to play big. Harshal Patel was run out on the very next ball.
India finished off their innings at 198/8, with Arshdeep Singh (2*) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1*). England had scripted a mini-comeback in the final four overs. India could manage only 33 runs in this phase and lost four wickets.
Chris Jordan was the pick of the bowlers for England with 2/23. Moeen Ali also took 2/26. Topley, Mills, Parkinson got a wicket each.
Brief Scores: India: 198/8 (Hardik Pandya 51, Suryakumar Yadav 39, Chris Jordan 2/23) against England. (ANI)