AHMEDABAD: Indian bowlers stifled England’s batters to secure an eight-run victory in the fourth Twenty20 International on Thursday to level the five-match series at 2-2.
Shardul Thakur claimed three wickets while Hardik Pandya and Rahul Chahar took two each as India restricted England to 177-8 in their chase of 186 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Ben Stokes smacked 46 off 23 deliveries before falling to Thakur as the series witnessed its first failed chase.
The deciding match is on Saturday at the same venue.
Earlier, Suryakumar Yadav hit a quickfire 57 as India reached 185 for eight in a must-win game. Rishabh Pant (30) and Shreyas Iyer (37) made useful cameos after India were put into bat in a crunch game of the series.
Fast bowler Jofra Archer claimed four wickets including two in the 20th over to return his T20 best of 4-33.
Yadav took on the bowlers as he flicked Archer for a six over fine leg on the opening ball of his first international innings after missing out on batting in the second match which India won confortably.
England hit back with two quick wickets as Ben Stokes sent back KL Rahul for 14 and skipper Virat Kohli wasstumped off Adil Rashid’s googly.
Yadav, who rose to prominence with his attacking batting in domestic games and for Indian Premier League champions Mumbai Indians, reached his fifty in 28 deliveries. He hit six fours and three sixes in his 31-ball knock.
Left-arm quick Sam Curran finally cut short Yadav’s innings with Dawid Malan taking a sharp catch which was repeatedly watched by the TV umpire to check whether it was a clean take in the deep.
Pant and Iyer, who smashed five fours and a six off in his 18-ball blitz, boosted the Indian total.
All the three matches have been won by teams chasing the target.
R.G. Sharma c and b Archer 12
K.L. Rahul c Archer b Stokes 14
S.A. Yadav c Malan b Curran 57
V. Kohli st Buttler b Rashid 1
R.R. Pant b Archer 22
S.S. Iyer c Malan b Archer 37
H.H Pandya c Stokes b Wood 11
S.N. Thakur not out 10
Washington Sundar c Rashid b Archer 4
B. Kumar not out 0
EXTRAS (LB-5, W-3) 8
TOTAL (for eight wkts, 20 overs) 185
FALL OF WKTS: 1-21, 2-63, 3-70, 4-110, 5-144, 6-170, 7-174, 8-179.
DID NOT BAT: R.D. Chahar.
BOWLING: Adil Rashid 4-1-39-1; Archer 4-0-33-4 (1w); Wood 4-1-25-1 (1w); Jordan 4-0-41-0 (1w); Stokes 3-0-26-1 (1w); Curran 1-0-16-1.
J.J. Roy c Yadav b Pandya 40
J.C. Buttler c Rahul b Kumar 9
D.J. Malan b Chahar 14
J.M. Bairstow c Sundar b Chahar 25
B.A. Stokes c Yadav b Thakur 46
E.J.G. Morgan c Sundar b Thakur 4
S.M. Curran b Pandya 3
C.J. Jordan c Pandya b Thakur 12
J.C. Archer not out 18
Adil Rashid not out 0
EXTRAS (LB-2, W-4) 6
TOTAL (for eight wkts, 20 overs) 177
FALL OF WKTS: 1-15, 2-60, 3-66, 4-132, 5-140, 6-140, 7-153, 8-177.
DID NOT BAT: M.A. Wood.
BOWLING: Kumar 4-1-30-1 (1w); Pandya 4-0-16-2; Thakur 4-0-42-3 (2w); Washington Sundar 4-0-52-0; Chahar 4-0-35-2 (1w).
RESULT: India won by eight runs to level five-match series 2-2.
UMPIRES: N.N. Menon (India) and K.N. Ananthapadmanabhan (India).
TV UMPIRE: V.K. Sharma (India).
MATCH REFEREE: J. Srinath (India).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Suryakumar Yadav.
FINAL MATCH: Ahmedabad (N), Saturday (6:30pm PST).