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Bhuvneshwar Kumar leads India defeat England by 49 runs

In the second Twenty20 at Edgbaston on Saturday, July 9, Indian seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck three times to help the touring side defeat England by 49 runs and grab a 2-0 lead in the series.

Both Jason Roy and Jos Buttler were dismissed by Bhuvneshwar (3-15) in the early pursuit of 171 before Yuzvendra Chahal (2-10) took two wickets to put England in a precarious position on 55-5.

With exciting cameos, Moeen Ali (35) and David Willey (33) kept England afloat, but a flurry of wickets had them bowled out for 121 in 17 overs.

“When the ball swings, you definitely enjoy. In the last few years, there is not much help with the ball in England, but this year it’s more,” said Bhuvneshwar.

“White ball getting swing upfront is a motivational factor for fast bowlers, and batters have to take their chances.”

Kumar set the tone

Kumar set the tone early in England’s chase, having India captain Rohit Sharma catch the dangerous Jason Roy at slip for a first-ball duck.

The medium-pacer then caught England skipper Buttler, one of the world’s top white-ball batsmen, behind for four runs. When the hard-hitting Liam Livingstone was bowled by a stunning off-cutter from Jasprit Bumrah, the hosts were trailing 27-3 after five overs.

Ali and Willey tried to get England back on track, but with wickets falling steadily at the other end, the odds were always against them and Harshal Patel yorked No. 11 Matt Parkinson with exactly three overs remaining in the contest.

Gleeson struck sixth ball

Earlier, India’s daring new strategy for Twenty20 cricket was on display again as they were put into bat. Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant got stuck into the England attack from the beginning, amassing 61 runs in the powerplay.

However, Richard Gleeson (3-15) put an end to the early momentum, taking the valuable scalps of Rohit (31) and Virat Kohli (1) as well as Pant (26) in the space of four balls.

Suryakumar Yadav (15) and Hardik Pandya (12) both fell early to Chris Jordan (4-27) as England attempted a strong comeback before Ravindra Jadeja’s 29-ball 46 helped India end on an impressive 170-8.

“Brilliant knock (from Jadeja) under pressure. We wanted someone to bat through and get us a score, Jadeja had scored a hundred here (in the fifth Test), and he carried on from there,” said Rohit.

“At no point, we were feeling he was panicking. Was good to finish on a score we thought was par on that surface.”

Gleeson struck with just his sixth ball in international cricket, removing Rohit for a quickfire 31 as the opener top-edged a hook and the wicketkeeper Buttler held a superb catch as he sprinted back. At the start of his next over, Gleeson took two wickets in two balls.

Dawid Malan took an excellent catch over his shoulder as he rushed from a backward point to dismiss star batsman Kohli, who is currently without a century in 76 international innings across all formats. Pant (26 off 15 balls) then charged at Gleeson but was caught behind by an inside edge.

Before all-rounder Jadeja helped India reach a competitive score, Yadav and Pandya repaired some of the damage before they were both bowled by consecutive Jordan deliveries. Both teams will play each other again at Trent Bridge on Sunday.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.