India 165 all out (19.3 overs)(AM Rahane 61, Dernbach 4 for 22);
England 169-4 (19.3 overs). Full scorecard
England won by six wickets with three balls to spare.
“Who ate all the pies?” a few dozen India supporters chanted at Samit Patel as he fielded on the boundary in the early overs of a memorable night at Old Trafford. It was good-humoured enough, but Patel must still have relished having the last laugh, as he plundered three consecutive boundaries in the final over to ensure that England maintained their grip over the beleagured tourists.
Patel and Ravi Bopara seemed in danger of squandering the strong platform laid by another mini-masterclass in improvisation from Eoin Morgan, who hit 49 from 27 balls. They managed only three singles off the 19th over delivered skilfully by Munaf Patel, leaving 10 needed off the last.
But Vinay Kumar’s first ball at Samit Patel was ruled a wide by umpire Rob Bailey – a marginal call that could have gone either way. The Nottinghamshire all-rounder edged the next fine for four, and when he opened the face to another full delivery outside off stump to secure another boundary, the scores were level with four balls remaining.
Patel only needed the one, launching Kumar over mid-off to complete victory by a deceptively comfortable six-wicket margin, with three balls to spare. He ended unbeaten on 25 from 16 balls, and Bopara with 31 off 36.
However Morgan’s was the classiest contribution, although his departure was slightly grubby, as he refused to walk when Rohit Sharma claimed a catch at backward point. Words were clearly exchanged with the Indian fielders as Morgan stood his ground before the third umpire Nigel Llong upheld their appeal.
That was one of several moments in which MS Dhoni’s team seemed to be taking inspiration from a wonderfully noisy and passionate Manchester crowd. It was at Old Trafford, of all places, on a balmy late summer evening to shatter many stereotypes, that India finally found an atmosphere at least vaguely reminiscent of the IPL.
Rahul Dravid, on his one and only appearance in a t20 international, caused jaws to drop among the Indian journalists in the press box before bellylaughs broke out by striking three consecutive sixes off Patel, and Dhoni showed his class with a sharp stumping to dismiss Kevin Pietersen when he was threatening a match-winning innings.
But the final result was depressingly familiar for them, with Morgan’s manouevring ensuring that India paid the penalty for a collapse late in their innings.
They had been going pretty well at 158 for five in the 18th over when Dhoni launched Jade Dernbach over his favourite area wide of mid-on – beneath the hundreds of corporate customers enjoying surely one of the best views in international cricket from the balcony of the Point, the big red pillar box that has caused so much debate since it popped up at Old Trafford last summer.
But Dhoni fell to Dernbach’s next offering, lofting to long-off where the England debutant Alex Hales fumbled but got seriously lucky, as the ball bounced off his shoulder and back into his hands.
R Ashwin hit his first ball for four but the last four wickets then tumbled for only three more runs, three of them to Dernbach who ended with four for 22 – and left Praveen Kumar grasping comically for one of his speciality slower balls. Arguably the key wicket was that of Suresh Raina, who had played well for 33 but was undone, not for the first time this summer, by a short one from Tim Bresnan.
India’s top-scorer had been Ajinkya Rahane, the 23-year-old debutant from Maharashtra who struck 61 from 39 balls to offer some reason for encouragement ahead of the one-day series.
Shot of the day: The second of Samit Patel’s three fours in the last over, as he opened the face to steer Vinay Kumar fine of third man.
Shock of the day: Rahul Dravid marking his one and only appearance in a t20 international with three consecutive sixes off Patel.
Miss of the day: Craig Kieswetter fluffed a caught behind chance that also doubled as a stumping after Graeme Swann had deceived Rahul Dravid with an arm ball.
Lucky break of the day: Kieswetter getting a second chance to stump Rohit Sharma after another fumble.
Juggle of the day: Alex Hales on the long-on boundary, catching MS Dhoni off his shoulder.
Equipment malfunction of the day: Samit Patel looked understandably stunned when the blade of his bat disappeared in the direction of mid wicket as he maintained his grip on the handle after slicing the ball towards cover.
Chant of the day: “Who ate all the pies?” India supporters to Samit Patel when he was fielding on the boundary.
Quote of the day: MS Dhoni on Rahul Dravid. “”I think he did really well on the first and last game that he played. Hopefully he will remember the innings. It’s something very interesting, in the first five weeks here he has been trying to get the pad to the ball, and in the last one trying to take the leg away from the ball.”