Dhoni’s poor judgement cost India T20 against England
Birmingham, (IANS) Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s poor judgement in refusing singles in two balls in the last over saw India going down by three runs to England in a thrilling finish in the one-off Twenty20 international at Edgbaston here Sunday.
A blistering 71 off 31 balls from captain Eoin Morgan helped England post an imposing total of 180 for seven. Morgan, who hit seven sixes and three fours, was also adjudged Man of the Match.
Chasing a target of 181, India needed 16 runs in the last over. Dhoni, who remained unbeaten on 27 from 18 balls, refused to take a single in the second and the fifth ball and it left him a tough task of scoring five from the last ball. But instead of hitting a six, Dhoni managed to swing it towards the leg side for a single as India finished in 177 for five.
Dhoni’s decision to retain the strike and not attempting singles in the last over baffled many as his partner Ambati Rayudu (3 not out) is also a clean striker but was making his debut in T20 international.
It was Virat Kohli’s 66 that put India on course but Dhoni’s poor decision cost India the match. Kohli struck nine fours and a six in his 41-ball innings while Shikhar Dhawan (33) and Suresh Raina (25) also came up with valuable contributions.
England pacer Harry Gurney and Chris Woakes put on a fine performance in the last two overs. India needed 26 runs in the last two overs an with a seasoned finisher in Dhoni at the crease the visitors seemed the favourites. It was impossible for the Indian batsmen to get the big hits. They managed just six sixes in the whole innings while England had 11, seven of them hit by Morgan.
Gurney, playing only his second T20 international, bowled an impressive penultimate conceding just nine runs. Woakes despite being hit for a six in the first ball of the last over held his nerve to take England to a win.
Earlier in the day, riding on a blistering 71 off 31 balls from Morgan helped England recover from an unimpressive start to put a big score on board. Alex Hales (40) and Joe Root (26) also made valuable contributions.
The win marked the end of a tour in which England came from 0-1 behind to win the Test series 3-1 but were beaten heavily by a similar margin in the ODIs.