Cricket- Bairstow & Malan
England's Dawid Malan (left) and teammate Jonny Bairstow celebrate their eight-wicket win in the first Twenty20 International at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Image Credit: AFP

Kolkata: England showed they were a different kettle of fish in white ball cricket as they eased past India by eight wickets in the first of their five-match T20 International series in Ahmedabad this evening.

Chasing a below-par target of 125 for victory, Jason Roy (49) and Jos Buttler (28) got off to a rollicking start as they put up 72 runs for the first wicket. It was easy thereafter as Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan took them home with 27 balls to spare.

Being sent into bat, the much vaunted Indian batting line-up failed to fire as they managed 124 for seven wickets in their 20 overs.

Shreyas Iyer, coming in at number five, topscored with 67 off 48 deliveries which comprised of eight boundaries and a six. Rishabh Pant, the man in form, scored 21 off 23 deliveries after India lost the top three - KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli with only 20 runs on the board. Kohli fell for no score against Adel Rashid.

England, fielding a dramatically different side to the one beaten 3-1 in the Tests that ended last week, included fast bowler Mark Wood for the game at the world's biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.

India rested vice-captain Rohit Sharma for the first two games. Rahul opened the batting with Shikhar Dhawan but fell for one.

Pace bowler Bhuveneshwar Kumar returned for his first T20 international since December 2019.

Brief Scores: England 130 for two (J. Roy 49, J. Buttler 28, W. Sundar 1-18) beat India 124 for seven (S. Iyer 67, R. Pant 21; J. Archer 3-23, A. Rashid 1-14) by eight wickets.