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India v England: Jofra Archer & Jason Roy star in first T20 win


Mark Wood and Jos Buttler
England recorded their biggest T20 victory over India in terms of wickets
First Twenty20, Ahmedabad
India 124-7 (20 overs): Iyer 67 (48); Archer 3-23
England 130-2 (15.3 overs): Roy 49 (32)
England won by eight wickets

A magnificent bowling performance set England on the way to a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over India in the first Twenty20 in Ahmedabad.

Jofra Archer’s 3-23 spearheaded a relentless showing from the pace bowlers, while leg-spinner Adil Rashid opened the bowling and dismissed home captain Virat Kohli for a duck.

Only Shreyas Iyer, with 67 from 48 balls, got to grips with the England attack and the two-paced pitched as India struggled to 124-7.

England sauntered in the chase, Jason Roy crashing 49 from 32 deliveries to help the tourists to their target with 27 balls to spare.

Eoin Morgan’s side take the lead in the five-match series, with the second game to be played on Sunday.

England stamp their authority

After England were outplayed in losing the Test series 3-1, the T20s looked like a mouthwatering contest – the two best teams in the world, with all the matches played in the world’s biggest cricket stadium, seven months away from a World Cup in India.

With a full-strength side at his disposal, England captain Morgan said this was a learning experience before the World Cup.

As it turned out, the tourists were completely dominant from the moment Morgan won the toss.

As a collective, the fast bowlers were pacey, pounding away short of a length. Morgan’s decision to entrust Rashid with the new ball was astute, typifying his excellent night as captain, while England’s fielding was faultless.

There was no sign of England’s batting struggles from the Test series, and the contest was over long before Dawid Malan sealed victory with a straight six.

Archer shows his class

Archer has endured a difficult tour, missing two Tests with an elbow injury, then using his newspaper column to respond to questions over his desire to play for England.

In the shortest format, he has few peers. Here, he put in the sort of performance that brought him the Most Valuable Player award at last year’s Indian Premier League.

He had KL Rahul drag on in the second over, and returned later to have the dangerous Hardik Pandya held at mid-off and Shardul Thakur hook the next ball to deep square leg.

The rest of the pace bowlers followed his example. Mark Wood was constantly above 90mph, Chris Jordan and Ben Stokes ensured there was no respite, while Sam Curran went through his range of variations.

Still, the most telling blow came from Rashid. When Kohli slapped his fifth delivery to mid-off, a crowd of 67,200 in Ahmedabad fell silent.

India outplayed

This was a dreadful performance from India, who rested opener Rohit Sharma, then saw their batting strangled.

Iyer impressed with his touch and timing, while Rishabh Pant played an outrageous reverse ramp off Archer that went for six, but the rest made little to no impact.

Whereas England relied on pace, India chose three frontline spinners, only for Roy to climb into leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

Even though Chahal ended an opening stand of 72 when he had Jos Buttler lbw for 28 and Roy was leg before to Washington Sundar, Jonny Bairstow arrived a man transformed from the one who registered three ducks in four Test innings.

Victory was England’s biggest over India in T20s in terms of wickets and balls remaining.

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