Kishan, Kohli help India level T20 series against England

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Cricket – Second Twenty20 International – India v England – Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, India – March 14, 2021 India’s Virat Kohliand celebrates with Ishan Kishan REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

AHMEDABAD, India – A belligerent 56 off 32 balls from India debutant Ishan Kishan and an unbeaten 73 from captain Virat Kohli helped the hosts to a commanding seven-wicket win over England in the second Twenty20 International in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

Kishan, 22, smashed leg-spinner Adil Rashid for two consecutive sixes to get past fifty as India made short work of a 165-run target to win with 13 balls to spare and level the five-match series at 1-1.

India’s chase of England’s 164-6 got off to a shaky start when Sam Curran sent back opener KL Rahul in the first over without scoring but it did not curb Kishan’s aggression, the left-hander hitting five fours and four sixes in total.

There was plenty of entertainment for the sizeable crowd at the world’s biggest cricket stadium, with most fans not wearing masks in the stands, as Kohli and Kishan added 94 in nine overs.

Rishabh Pant came in after the dismissal of Kishan, who was dropped by Ben Stokes on 40 off Rashid, and continued to pummel England’s bowlers with a 13-ball 26, during which he hit two sixes and an identical number of fours.

Kohli, who also survived a dropped chance by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler on 10 off Chris Jordan, sealed the win with a four and a six in successive balls to also get past 3,000 runs in T20 internationals in the process.

Jason Roy once again top-scored for England with a 35-ball 46, following up on his knock of 49 in their win in the first match on Friday.

Put in to bat, the right-hander gave the touring side a steady start with a 63-run stand for the second wicket with Dawid Malan after the loss of opening partner Buttler to seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar on the first delivery he faced.

Roy hit four fours and two sixes in his knock before holing out in the deep off spinner Washington Sundar, who also sent back the dangerous Jonny Bairstow for 20.

Fast bowler Shardul Thakur pegged back England’s hopes of a flourishing finish by dismissing opposition captain Eoin Morgan and Stokes as India conceded just 35 off the last five overs.

The third match of the series will be played on Tuesday.

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