All rounder Hardik Pandya came up with a brilliant all round performance with both bat and ball as India defeated England by 50 runs in the first T20I at The Rose Bowl in Southampton on Thursday.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma who returned to the side after recovering from COVID-19, looked in fine touch during his brief stay. However he was undone by a quicker one from Moeen Ali to Jos Buttler behind the stumps for 24.
The off spinner claimed his second wicket by dismissing left hander Ishan Kishan (8), top edging a sweep to Matt Parkinson at short fine leg.
The pair of Deepak Hooda and Suryakumar Yadav featured in a 43 run stand for the third wicket before the former miscued a catch to Tymal Mills at short backward square leg off Chris Jordan for a 17 ball-33.
Suryakumar who looked dangerous in his knock of 39, perished to a sharp bouncer from Chris Jordan.
Hardik got a reprieve on 37, as Buttler missed the stumping off Parkinson. However the Indian all rounder capitalized on the opportunity by scoring his maiden T20I fifty. He was dismissed soon after for a 33 ball-51, slashing Reece Topley to Brook at deep point.
The England bowlers fought back brilliantly in the last five overs by conceding only 41 runs, as the visitors ended up with a challenging score of 198/8 in their allotted 20 overs.
For England, Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan claimed two wickets each.
Chasing 199, Bhuvneshwar Kumar got India off to a fantastic start by cleaning up Jos Buttler with a brilliant inswinger for a first ball duck.
Hardik then claimed wickets of Dawid Malan, Liam Livingstone and Jason Roy, leaving England in trouble at 33/4.
The pair of Harry Brook and Moeen Ali resurrected the innings with a solid 61 run stand for the fifth wicket. Brook was dropped twice by Dinesh Karthik, finally perished to a fine running catch by Suryakumar Yadav at deep midwicket off Yuzvendra Chahal for 28.
Chahal then dented England’s hopes by dismissing the dangerous Moeen Ali (36) stumped by wicket keeper Dinesh Karthik in the same over.
The 29 year old Hardik Pandya claimed his fourth, as Sam Curran (4) top-edged a hook to Karthik behind the stumps.
Left arm seamer Arshdeep Singh claimed his maiden wicket by claiming Reece Topley (9) caught behind, and then dismissed Matt Parkinson caught at backward point by Deepak Hooda for a duck.
The hosts were eventually bundled out for 148 in 19.3 overs. Arshdeep made an impressive debut with figures of 2/18 as Rohit Sharma became the first captain to register 13 successive wins in T20Is.
Hardik Pandya was declared the Man of the Match for his all round performance with both bat and ball.
India 198 for 8 (Hardik 51, Suryakumar 39, Hooda 33) beat England 148 (Moeen 36, Hardik 4-33) by 50 runs