Superb Alex Hales Knock Sets Up Twenty20 Decider Against India

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A superb innings from Alex Hales set up a series decider in Bristol on Sunday after England made good on their promise to tackle India's left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
Set 149 after their bowlers had done an excellent containing job, they limited Kuldeep to figures of 4-0-34-0 - a different planet from his five for 24 during India's facile win in Manchester on Tuesday.
Hales owed his team after an 18-ball eight in that game - not least with the fit-again Ben Stokes set to return in Bristol.

And Hales responded with a magnificent 58 not out from 41 deliveries that left little doubt about his importance to England's Twenty20 side.
Alex Hales produced a superb innings on Friday to set up a Twenty20 decider against India
Paul Farbrace congratulates the destructive England batsman on his fine knock in Cardiff
Twelve were needed off the final over, bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, whose first three had cost just seven. But Hales hit the first ball for a straight six into the River Taff, then tickled the next for four. 
A single followed, before David Willey pulled the winning runs - to the disappointment of another crowd dominated by the blue of India's fans.

There is a spring in England's step once more. Whether Hales can miss out now is another matter entirely.
England will take special pleasure from the way they played Kuldeep. Hales lifted him into the river, before Jonny Bairstow swept him for successive sixes in the 17th over.
The sessions with spin-bowling machine Merlyn had clearly paid off.
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'We played him better than we did at Old Trafford,' said Eoin Morgan. 'We committed to our plans, and there was a lot more clarity to the shots we played.
His Indian counterpart Virat Kohli agreed: 'They did their homework and played Kuldeep really well.

That was the difference in the momentum changing in the middle overs.'
England's pursuit on an unexpectedly lively Cardiff track was given a quick start when Jason Roy - presumably grateful that India refuse to open against him with a spinner after his struggles in the IPL - took 14 off Umesh Yadav's first over. 
The hosts managed to combat the threat of spinner Kuldeep Yadav much more effectively 
But Umesh soon bowled him with an off-cutter, and Jos Buttler departed for 14, caught at mid-off by Kohli off Yadav three balls after Kohli had dropped an easier chance.
And when Kohli turned to spin, the effect was instant.

Joe Root tried to sweep a googly from Yuzvendra Chahal and lost his off stump. England were 44 for three - and Kuldeep was yet to bowl.
Hales set about rebuilding the innings with Eoin Morgan, who struggled early on. But Hales mowed Chahal for six, then attacked Kuldeep.
The game pivoted again when Morgan, hooking Hardik Pandya, was brilliantly caught high above his head by Shikhar Dhawan at fine leg to leave England 92 for four. The game was in the balance, but they kept their nerve.
Earlier, India's innings never got going.

Jake Ball bounced out Rohit Sharma, https://genesisblock.one/index.php/How_Coronavirus_Will_Kill_The_Sizzler_Buffer_Bunning_Sausage_Sizzle Dhawan dropped his bat and was run out, and KL Rahul - who had slayed a stunning hundred in Manchester - was bowled by Liam Plunkett.
Suresh Raina was neatly stumped by Jos Buttler after impressing with a score of 27
David Willey bowled well with Liam Plunkett to help England level the series at one apiece
That made it 22 for three in the fifth over, and for a while consolidation trumped acceleration. By the time Suresh Raina was stumped for 27 off Adil Rashid's googly, India had progressed only as far 79 in the 13th.
But the meanest bowling came from Willey and Plunkett.

Willey had raised Indian hackles by suggesting their bowlers unsportingly pulled out of deliveries at Old Trafford.
So he chose a good moment to produce the tightest figures of his Twenty20 international career - 4-0-18-1 - and removed Kohli for good measure.

By a single run, Plunkett was even more economical.
It meant that the 22 conceded in the final over by Jake Ball, making his England debut in the format after Moeen Ali was left out, didn't matter. 
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