19 balls, 8 runs, 8 wickets: How England saved their worst for the last vs India
Chasing 203 for victory, England collapsed spectacularly to lose their last eight wickets in 19 deliveries for the addition of eight runs as they were dismissed for 127 in the 17th over in the third and deciding Twenty20 international against India in Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy Stadium.cricket Updated: Feb 02, 2017 14:42 IST
Nineteen balls. Eight runs. Eight wickets. That’s how drastic the collapse was for England Wednesday night as Yuzvendra Chahal ran through the opposition batting line-up to help India clinch the three-match T20I series 2-1.
The leg-spinner, who was hit for a gigantic six in his very first ball, ended with 6/25 to have the best bowling figures by an Indian in the shortest format of the game.
At the end of the 13th over, England were 86 runs away from victory, had eight wickets in hand but had just 42 balls to scale the target.
Chahal struck in the third ball as he forced Eoin Morgan to mistime his shot against the googly and hand debutant Rishabh Pant his first international catch.
From there on, Virat Kohli’s men hardly had to sweat it out as England threw their wickets at regular intervals to fall 76 runs short of the target.
Naturally, the England captain Eoin Morgan was devastated.
“(We) committed a cardinal sin of losing two in-players in one over and allowed India to build a little bit of pressure and we weren’t up to it at all,” he said at the post-match conference in Bangalore.
“I can’t put a finger on it. We haven’t produced a batting performance as bad as that in two or two-and-a-half years,” Morgan said.
“We pride ourselves on our batting, it has been a strong suit for a long time but this series our bowlers have outperformed our batsmen I think.”
The English media were brutal in their criticism.
Paul Newman, writing for MailOnline, said the collapse was extraordinary by even English standards and that the team had ‘saved their worst’ for the last game of the tour.
Barney Ronay, in his coloumn in The Guardian wrote: “In reality the game turned in the guts of their innings as Joe Root batted too slowly, chewing up 37 balls for his 42 as wickets were lost around him to some careless shots and the weight of the chase simply became too much.”
For former England captain Michael Vaughan, the humiliation was too much to bear.
“Sounds like I chose the perfect time to fly to SA .... !!!! So in my eyes it’s still 1-1 ..... !!!! #Collapse #INDvENG,” he wrote on Twitter.
The visitors were also mocked by a number of Twitteratis on the social media platform for their shambolic display on what was a good batting track.
England have often been shoddy with the bat on the tour and lost wickets in tandem to swing the course of a match.
In the five-match Test series itself, they twice lost all their wickets for just 83 and 104 runs (in Visakhapatnam and Chennai respectively), lost five wickets for 70 runs at Mohali and lost 7 wickets for 54 runs in Mumbai.