Wood triple strike rattles India as England win

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Image courtesy Twitter account of England Cricket
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Due to rising Coronavirus cases, the third T20 match between India and England was played without spectators.

The empty stadium seemed to spur England and in particular, paceman Mark Wood who hit speeds touching 154 kmph and produced astounding figures of 3 wickets for 14 runs in three overs.

It was fast bowling of the highest quality.

His first victim was KL Rahul who took four balls to score a duck before getting cleaned up by a ball that probably was one of Wood’s slowest deliveries.

Wood also chipped in the vital wickets of Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya, in the 15th and 20th overs, which pushed back Indian hopes of a late flourish.

However, the problem for India started in the beginning of the innings as Rohit Sharma, making a comeback, just couldn’t get going.

Eoin Morgan started with Adil Rashid whose mix of good length balls and googlies allowed India to score just 5 runs.

Rohit took 17 balls for his 15 runs. In his short stint, he contrived to get himself out at least twice by giving return catches to Archer and Wood, both of whom were spurned.

India managed to reach 156, only thanks to their skipper who was in imperious form.

Kohli’s unbeaten 77 off 46 balls was his second successive half-century and only demonstrated what India might have achieved had the others given him support.

Kohli scored an incredible 49 runs off 17 balls with 5 fours and 4 sixes.

Buttler savages India

The Indian total was below par but they could have harboured hopes of a win when Jason Roy, their man in form, departed to Chahal for just 9.

But Buttler responded with an innings of real quality, punctuated by some explosive hitting.

His 83 off just 52 balls with 5 fours and 4 sixes made an English victory a formality.

Buttler was involved in two solid half century stands, adding 57 runs with Dawid Malan (18) followed by an unbroken 77-run partnership with Jonny Bairstow (40 not out off 28 deliveries).

England leads the series 2-1 with the final two matches scheduled for Thursday and Saturday.

India has a tricky selection headache to solve. Should they drop KL Rahul who looks out of sorts and bring in Surya Yadav? If yes, what position should Yadav play in? They are questions, the think tank needs to answer and fast!

England 158 for 2 (Buttler 83*, Bairstow 40*) beat India 156 for 6 (Kohli 77*, Wood 3-31) by eight wickets