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December 22, 2012
Jos Buttler described Eoin Morgan as "world class" after the pair had combined to help England to a six-wicket win over India in the second T20 international and square the series at 1-1. With England needing three runs for victory, Morgan, England's stand-in captain, hit the last ball of the match for six to end unbeaten on 49 and complete his team's highest successful run chase in the format.
Buttler also played his part, hitting two crucial boundaries during the penultimate over, bowled by Parvinder Awana. He and Morgan added 32 runs from 13 balls to make sure England got over the line after an opening stand of 80 between Alex Hales and Michael Lumb had set them on their way, only for Yuvraj Singh to again menace the tourists during the middle overs.
"We're really pleased to get that victory. It was a world-class finish from a world-class finisher in Eoin Morgan," Buttler said.
"He was very confident and that rubbed off on me. It's a great Christmas present. It was a world-class performance from everyone and everyone's delighted to get a win."
After winning the toss, Morgan was vindicated in his decision to bowl first, despite a mixed display from England's attack. Only Tim Bresnan and James Tredwell showed the requisite control on a fast surface and a sixth-wicket partnership of 60 from 27 balls between MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina threatened to take the game out of England's reach.
"It was a hell of a game of cricket," Morgan said. "It was a great pitch to be prepared for a Twenty20 game and both sides were in the game throughout the whole 40 overs, which was great to see."
"The stats suggest, particularly at this stadium, that chasing predominantly wins, so it was part and parcel of what we looked at and we backed ourselves to chase down or even set a good score."
While India dropped two catches and leaked runs with a poor display in the field, England worked hard to back up their bowlers and Morgan praised the fielding by his young side. "It was outstanding," he said. "It's an area that we've looked at where we can be ahead of the game and save 10 or 15 runs each time, and today we were amazing."
Dhoni, who joint top-scored for India with 38, and Yuvraj both suggested that the dew had been a factor for the side bowling second. But while Dhoni was pleased with the way his side fought throughout the match, he admitted India had made their task harder by allowing England's openers to quickly get on top of the run chase.
"What was vital was the start. I don't think we started really well, we were a fraction short," Dhoni said. "As in the last game, we came back nicely, the bowlers started doing well again, but it was difficult. We gave up too many runs in the first six overs."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala