Bristol: Opener Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten century guided India to an easy seven-wicket victory over England in the third and final Twenty20 match and give the visitors the series at Bristol on Sunday.
Chasing a stiff target of 199 in 20 overs, Rohit got his touch early and remained unbeaten to ensure India cruised to victory. Rohit and skipper Virat Kohli added 89 runs for the third wicket. After the dismissal of Kohli (44), Rohit and Hardik Pandya (33 not out) guided the visitors home.
Earlier, Pandya and M.S. Dhoni led the fightback as India restricted England to 198-9 in the third and deciding T20 International at Bristol.
England threatened to run away with the final match of a series tied 1-1 and post a massive total but fast medium Pandya took 4-38.
Indian keeper Dhoni became the first player to take five catches in a T20 international. The hosts made a flying start thanks to Joss Buttler and Jason Roy, with Roy making 67 from 31 balls and England looked set for score of over 240 before Pandya applied the brakes.
He dismissed Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan, the returning Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow to pick up his best figures in any T20 cricket and after conceding 22 off his first over.
England were rapidly out of the blocks after being put in by Indian captain Virat Kohli with the ball flying to all parts off Buttler’s bat.
Deepak Chahar’s first over in international T20 cricket, and the first of the innings, cost 13 runs with Buttler accounting for 12 of them and within four overs England were 43-0.
Roy gave one tough chance on 38 when Chahar could not hold onto a steepling catch at deep cover and got to 50 off 23 balls. Buttler was out for 34 but Roy kept blasting away making the most of the short boundaries at the County Ground.
In all he hit seven sixes, equalling the most by an England batsman in T20, before he feathered a catch off Deepak Chahar to keeper Dhoni.
Stokes returned to the team at the expense of the out of form Joe Root after a month out with hamstring trouble while India made two changes: Chahar replacing Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddarth Kaul coming in for Kuldeep Yadav.