India v England, 2nd Twenty20, Mumbai December 22, 2012

Captain Morgan wins thriller for England


England 181 for 4 (Lumb 50, Morgan 49*, Yuvraj 3-17) beat India 177 for 8 (Dhoni 38, Kohli 38, Raina 35*) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

They don't come as smooth as Captain Morgan. As MS Dhoni and his senior associates debated the field for the final delivery of the chase, off which England needed three to win, Eoin Morgan was calm, had a word with his partner and then waited. Jos Buttler had tried to be cheeky and didn't succeed the previous ball, but Morgan put an end to the game in the only way an expectant crowd sensing victory could have been silenced in disbelief - a deathly blow over the sightscreen when there seemed to be enough room in the field to squeeze a couple and take the game to a Super Over.

With a Test series won and a T20 series drawn, England rounded off their first leg of this tour of India on a happy note. The victory was also their highest successful chase in T20 internationals.

Ashok Dinda, who bowled that last over, had tried hard to get his yorkers on target, with nine needed. The first five deliveries yielded just six runs, thanks to some good outfielding, even though Dinda didn't quite find his mark each time. When Buttler first shaped up for a scoop off the penultimate ball before trying to guide it past Dhoni's right, only to miss it and steal a bye, it seemed his more enterprising instincts may have backfired. But it brought Morgan on strike, and when Dinda overpitched, he launched him straight over his head, dispatching the ball above the press box, 92 metres into the stands.

Butler's contribution, too, was significant. He joined Morgan with England needing 29 off 13, and the partnership kicked off with Morgan immediately pulling Dinda for six over deep midwicket. Up against the inexperienced Parvinder Awana in the penultimate over, Buttler drove a low full toss through extra cover before hammering the bowler for a flat, straight six off the final ball to bring it down to nine off six. And Morgan completed the job.

Yuvraj Singh produced another excellent spell, picking up three wickets and conceding just 17 from his four overs, helping India recover from an opening partnership that threatened to take the game away from them. Michael Lumb produced his best performance in England colours, timing the ball superbly and showing plenty of intent, combining power play with some adept footwork that fetched him a lovely, straight six off R Ashwin. Lumb helped score 62 off the Powerplay and added 80 in 50 balls with Alex Hales, who impressed again with another productive hand.

Lumb's stumping, Luke Wright's lbw and Hales - who was dropped by Awana on 7 - holing out, all to Yuvraj, put the pressure back on England before Morgan and Buttler turned the tables. India had done the same in their innings towards the death, smashing 63 in the last five overs thanks to Suresh Raina and Dhoni stepping up, but England were outstanding in their groundfielding.

They threw themselves around in the outfield, the fast bowlers included, cutting off boundaries, often restricting the hosts, despite their good running between wickets, to twos. Though Raina and Dhoni's late assault threatened to undermine that, the runs saved by England, which kept India to a challenging but gettable 177, played an influential role in the outcome. India put down two chances - Piyush Chawla let off Samit Patel when was yet to score - and there was a fumble that cost four runs from the first ball of England's chase. In a game decided on the last ball, each lapse or incidence of brilliance had a magnified impact.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harmon on December 25, 2012, 22:34 GMT

    @ Hash_Tag: Oh and one more thing. You seem to be unable to deal with changing contexts - perhaps it is too much for your barren brain. When did I say Eng were a mediocre team in this series? I challenge you to show me the proof. I had said Eng were a mediocre team cos they were 80 a.o. in Wt20 in SL vs India - and that is a very fair assessment. Doubly so cos Eng were the defending champs and the pitch was rather flat. Moreover, while I expected Ind to win the Test series I did congratulate the Eng team for winning it 2-1, I don't know what else I could have done. The one thing this loss did was to highlight the role of Kumble in 90s when ppl often used to brush off his wickets saying they were on spinning wickets.

    So far you have been rather childish in your comments and seem to be intent on attacking me any which way though u never have talked to me in the past. You need a better grip on contexts before you deal with me.

  • Omar on December 25, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    @Harmony111 - you are once again flaming the forum. Can you not stop yourself hurling insult after insult? - "a very malleable spine"...." you puny bunny"...." running to your countrymen"..."cos they aren't grey enough inside the skulls...". Your lack of restraint is a blight. Then you have the nerve to say "But this kind of behav doesn't show them in any good light". You are right about that @Harmony111 - this kind of behaviour does not show you in a good light. Read back what you write. It is insulting, offensive and unnecessary.

  • Omar on December 25, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    @Harmony111 - you claim that you "never gloat". What then is this; Harmony111 on (October 17 2011, 17:21 PM GMT) "I just can't wait to hear what the over-zealous and blind Eng fans will come up with this time and for the remaining 3 times". It seems that is it alright for you to make excuses and boasts. You even excuse your own excuse making. Although it pains me to say it - England are a match for India even here on our own turf. No amount of name calling the other team "mediocre" can conceal it. Big talk and excuses prove nothing. Haven't you realised that excuses have gotten India nowhere? There are "over-zealous and blind fans" here @Harmony111....

  • Harmon on December 25, 2012, 21:29 GMT

    @mark2011: So a last ball finish becomes a hammering for you cos your team won the match? If that is so then the near walk over Ind had in the 1st match must be like Jackhammering right? In any case it was a 1-1 drawn series so any Eng fan must be very intimately a 420 fan if he thinks it means Eng were by any means better than India in the series. Some Eng fans need maths lessons urgently cos 1-1 means 1-1 and not 1-0 or 2-0 as they would like to think. I am also noticing that most Eng fans have a very malleable spine - they make some silly points and then run away - never able to face the rebuttals. May be thats cos they often start from loose sand or may be cos they aren't grey enough inside the skulls. But this kind of behav doesn't show them in any good light.

  • Harmon on December 25, 2012, 21:19 GMT

    @ A_Vacant_Slip: Ha Ha Ha, you puny bunny couldn't handle my solid point about Eng being a mediocre team cos they were 80 a.o in the premier contest of T20I and chose to find some solace from your fellow comrade? India won the 1st T20 in rather boring circumstances - it was that easy for them there and the 2nd T20 was absolute nail biter yet for you suddenly the 1st 2 matches I referred to don't matter and you are trying to make some delusion where a last ball finish is somehow ample proof that the losing side is mediocre --- what are you? Why don't you start posting under a new handle A_Vacant_Mind cos it seems you got also seems u got no spine else you would have shown the guts to respond to me directly instead of running to your countryman and would not have resorted to personal attacks to me....

  • Harmon on December 25, 2012, 21:10 GMT

    @Valavan: I am glad you mention a win is a win. The Eng fans in general are so relieved by this win that now they suddenly are having epiphanies about a win being a win. Exactly my dear - A win is a win. If for you a T20 last ball win is a win (which is a solid fact not distorted by me) then I hope you will agree that a WC Final win is a WC Final win too - whether at home or away or at Mars. Similarly, #1 rank is #1 rank - whether the ranking system is flawed or comparable to RSA. If a single shot by an Eng batsman is so good for you then I hope you will admit now that every run scored by Ind batsmen too deserves the same admiration whether scored at home or away. The day you learn be balanced would be the day ppl would start respecting Eng Team and Eng fans once again my dear. For now it seems that the Eng fans are like "every thing done by our team is a tough task and everything done by the other teams is trivial". When are you gonna mend it?

  • Dummy4 on December 25, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    some desi fan calling Sehwag the best t20 player here .... LOL...... is every country making flat 'batsman friendly pitches' now?? ....that may be the only reason Sehwag could ever become THE BEST T20 PLAYER...... LOL..... why do people become so jingoistic

  • Sharon on December 25, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    @JG2704 I don't know why you are bothering. He is one of the worst of all of them. May even be the worst. Excuse does not win game of cricket - a point which is course entirely lost on him. Like much else.

  • Harmon on December 25, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    @JG2704: I'd already said that after all those unforced errors Eng won off the last ball - it was a close tense match - I got to say I was somewhat more tense than usual during those final 12-15 balls cos I could clearly see the thin margin between it being 2-0 or 1-1. My point was: a win off the last ball doesn't really mean the losing side was mediocre or the winning side was miles ahead. All the other adjustments that you and I may talk of mean nothing now. Both the sides were without some key players - but then Eng get a huge benefit of chasing under dew. Lest you say I use dew as excuse I'd a;ready said Eng played well. I'm merely listing out the various parameters of this match. Some balls of Dinda were shocking while Awana looked nippy but overall tense. I'd not have picked Dinda ever again after the way he bowled vs Eng in SLWt20 but here he played again. And Dernbach is better than what he did here. Overall, none of the sides were too apart and that was whole point.

  • Valavan on December 25, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    @Harmony111,last ball win, change your grapes supplier. a Win is always a win. Joe Root, Tredwell, Meaker and butler, how many T20 internationals between them. Gambhir,Kohli, Dhoni, Raina, Yuvraj, Ashwin - How many T20s between them. What a shot by morgan did u see it, just made you to give excuses here. cricnfo please publish

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