Mumbai: In a scene reminiscent of Javed Miandad’s last-ball six in 1986 against India, England skipper Eoin Morgan led a stunning comeback with an unbeaten 26-ball 49 as the visitors snatched a nerve-wracking last-ball victory to win the second Twenty20 International against India and level the two-match series 1-1, here on Saturday.
Needing three off the last ball, Morgan hit Ashok Dinda for a straight six to seal the match in England’s favour by six wickets at the Wankhede Stadium.
England required nine off the last over, thanks to the 26-year-old Morgan’s relentless onslaught that saw him smash five fours and two sixes.
Chasing a challenging target of 178, England were provided a blistering start by openers Michael Lumb and Alex Hales, who put on 80 runs for the first wicket in just over eight overs.
Lumb smashed 50 off a mere 34 balls while Hales made 42 off 33. But after their efforts, the show belonged to Morgan.
England needed 23 off the last two overs and managed 14 of them against Parvinder Awana.
The visitors, who opted to chase after winning the toss, were helped by a wayward Indian bowling attack and a shoddy fielding display that enabled the openers to score quick runs.
Apart from Lumb – who hit six fours and two sixes – and Hales, who had made a quick-fire 56 off 35 balls in the first match, skipper Morgan and Jos Butler (15 off seven balls) contributed significantly to England’s successful run-chase on a good batting track.
For India, Yuvraj Singh was the lone bowler to succeed with another excellent spell of three for 17, following his match-winning effort of three for 19 in the first match at Pune where England lost by five wickets.
Yuvraj got the wickets of the two openers and Luke Wright (5), but did not get the desired support from the other bowlers. The worst performers were Awana and Piyush Chawla.
Earlier, India recovered from a mid innings stutter to post a challenging total of 177 for eight.
A rousing start was provided by Virat Kohli, who made a brisk 38 in 20 balls, while adding 57 runs with opener Gautam Gambhir (17) for the second wicket.
India lost their way a bit with the fall of four wickets between the seventh and 15th overs before skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (38 off 18 balls) and Suresh Raina (35 not out in 24 balls) provided the late spark with a sixth-wicket partnership of 60 in just 27 balls.
Unsurprisingly, Morgan was named Man-of-the-Match for his match-winning innings. (PTI)