Samit Patel Wins T20 In Style For England
England 169-4 (Morgan 49, Bopara 31no) beat
India 165 (Rahane 61, Dernbach 4-22) by 6 wickets
Twenty20 International, Old Trafford
Samit Patel won England their Twenty20 International against India at Old Trafford by hitting three fours in the final over bowled by Ranganath Vinay Kumar.
He was unbeaten on 25 in 16 balls as England closed on 169 for four to win by six wickets after they had bowled India out for 165.
India might have scored many more runs but after Ajinkya Rahane (61) and Rahul Dravid (31) batted beautifully, they fell away, with the exception of Suresh Raina, who hammered 33 in 19 balls.
England lost debutant Alex Hales to the fourth ball of their reply but classy knocks of 49 and 33 from premier batsmen Eoin Morgan and Kevin Pietersen got them back on track.
India got themselves back into the match again with Pietersen stumped off Virat Kohli's first ball in T20 International cricket and Morgan well caught by Rohit Sharma off Munaf Patel, who then conceded just three runs from the penultimate over of the game to leave England needing ten to win in six balls.
Vinay Kumar bowled a wide first up before Patel edged and steered him to third man before applying the coup de grace by driving him powerfully over cover.
Ravi Bopara played his part with an unbeaten 31 in 36 balls at the other end.
India chose to bat and made a brilliant start with Rahane batting more like a seasoned veteran than the debutant that he was, htiting eight fours and putting on useful partnerships with Parthiv Patel (10) and Dravid, who provided the innings highlight when he smacked Patel for three sixes in consecutive deliveries.
He was out when he drilled Bopara to Morgan and aside from Raina's fireworks, hitting predominantly to his favoured area of deep midwicket, with two fours and three sixes, India were unable to kick on, Jade Dernbach unsettling India with his variations to take four for 22, bowling Praveen Kumar and having Munaf Patel caught by Craig Kieswetter with the last two balls of the innings.
England made a more shaky start, Hales making no impression on his debut and both Kieswetter and Pietersen struggling to get going.
Kieswetter heaved a six over third man and Pietersen was dropped by Parthiv Patel but his 33 in 23 balls set the platform for Morgan to come in and play a gem of an innings.
He picked out gaps, played some sweeps and flicks that would be audacious if he didn't produce them so often and faced just 27 balls with seven fours and one huge six before he was smartly caught. Although he disputed the low catch by Sharma, by the end there was no disputing that the better side had won, Bopara and Patel rotating the strike before hitting the big shots exactly when they were needed.
The result means that India, despite three wins in three limited overs warm-up games, are still looking for their first win against England of the tour having been thumped 4-0 in the Test series.
They will take some comfort from an improved performance with Munaf Patel probably the unluckiest to end up on the losing side after his final over almost swung the game decisively towards his side.
England were pushed as hard as they have been all summer but the world's best Test team and the reigning ICC World Twenty20 champions were not about to be toppled by India, who now have their status as reigning 50-over world champions to live up to in a series of five One-Day Internationals.
Fans of both sides will be hoping for the action to live up to the drama played out at Old Trafford in this game when it gets underway on 3rd September in Durham.
© Cricket World 2011