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Virat Kohli smashes unbeaten 77 as India set England 157 to win third T20

The home skipper led from the front after England’s pacemen excelled.

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Virat Kohli hit 77 not out for India (Aijaz Rahi/AP)

Virat Kohli hit 77 not out for India (Aijaz Rahi/AP)

Virat Kohli hit 77 not out for India (Aijaz Rahi/AP)

England were chasing 157 in the third Twenty20 against India, after Virat Kohli’s brilliant 77 not out rescued his side from a poor start.

The tourists kept the scoreboard down to 87 for five after 15 overs, but watched as Kohli advanced to powered his men to 156 for six in a single-handed fightback.

Having scored 28 from his first 29 balls he displayed his full range of classy stroke-making to harvest another 49 from the next 17.

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KL Rahul was bowled by Mark Wood (Aijaz Rahi/AP)

KL Rahul was bowled by Mark Wood (Aijaz Rahi/AP)

AP/PA Images

KL Rahul was bowled by Mark Wood (Aijaz Rahi/AP)

England had started with a near perfect powerplay, restricting India to just 24 runs while also picking off the top three.

Mark Wood was absent from Sunday’s defeat with a bruised heel and it was his return which lifted things.

After two tidy overs from Adil Rashid and Jofra Archer, Wood took the third and needed just three balls to make a mess of KL Rahul’s stumps for a duck. A handy mix of pace and movement was more than enough to continue the opener’s dire sequence which has seen him score just one run in his last four innings.

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His next victim, Rohit Sharma, was done by fast thinking as much as fast bowling. Spotting the batsman moving towards leg, Wood followed him with a smart short ball that Rohit could only flap to short fine-leg.

That brought together Kohli and Ishan Kishan, who shared a match-winning stand of 94 in the previous game, but the latter could not build on his eye-catching debut.

Taking on a short ball from Chris Jordan he top-edged a pull straight over his own head and into Jos Buttler’s gloves, leaving Kohli to see out a rare wicket-maiden.

Together with Rishabh Pant, Kohli added 38 but the stand barely got away from run-a-ball territory.

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Rishabh Pant was run out by Sam Curran (Aijaz Rahi/AP)

Rishabh Pant was run out by Sam Curran (Aijaz Rahi/AP)

AP/PA Images

Rishabh Pant was run out by Sam Curran (Aijaz Rahi/AP)

With pressure mounting they tried to pick up an extra run after Buttler failed to gather a return throw cleanly, but Pant had already over-run the crease and was easily run out by Sam Curran. It was a gift for England and one that either batsman could have averted with the right call.

Kohli did his catching up in style, accelerating with ridiculous ease. Taking on Wood, he swivelled into a majestic pull for six, lifted the ball effortlessly over long-off and then chopped a one-bounce four.

He finished with four sixes and eight fours, working the gaps at will, before Jordan ended the innings with the wicket of Hardik Pandya (17).


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