England take series lead as Buttler blitz trumps Kohli knock

Jos Buttler’s blistering 83 not out trumped Virat Kohli’s majestic half-century as England beat India by eight wickets in the third Twenty20 International to go 2-1 up in the series.

Kohli struck an unbeaten 77 off 46 balls to rescue India from a top-order collapse and help them to a competitive 156-6 in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

England’s Jos Buttler hit a superb 83 not out in the third T20 of the series in India.Credit:Getty

England overwhelmed the target with 10 balls to spare, Buttler smashing four sixes and five fours in a blistering 52-ball knock.

Earlier put in to bat, India got off to a horror start mirroring their batting struggles in the series opener.

Their top order looked in discomfort against the pace and bounce of Mark Wood (3-31) and Jofra Archer.

Archer floored a return catch to reprieve Rohit Sharma off his first ball but England did not have to wait long for a breakthrough.

Mark Wood celebrates the wicket of India’s Rohit Sharma.Credit:AP

Wood breached KL Rahul’s defence with an express delivery in the third over, dismissing the opener for his second successive duck.

If pace got rid of Rahul, bounce did the trick against Rohit and Ishan Kishan.

India were 24-3 after the six powerplay overs and 55-3 at the halfway stage of their innings before Kohli counter-attacked.

The home captain smashed four sixes and eight boundaries as the hosts milked 56 runs off the last four overs.

England began cautiously and lost Jason Roy early after the opener played a reverse-sweep against Yuzvendra Chahal.

Buttler smashed a couple of sixes in that over and raced to a 26-ball 50 with his sustained aggression.

The English batsman got a life on 76, when Kohli, usually a safe catcher, dropped him at point after he had played a reverse-sweep.

Jonny Bairstow’s unbeaten 40 included the winning boundary.

Ahmedabad hosts all five matches with the fourth Twenty20 International scheduled on Thursday.

The last three games of the five-match series are being played behind closed doors following a rise in COVID-19 cases in the state of Gujarat.


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