Magical Morgan seals series share
Skipper Eoin Morgan showed incredible cool to strike a final-ball six that ensured England ended 2012 with a nerve-jangling Twenty20 international victory against India.
With the tourists chasing 178 having lost the opening encounter of two, all eyes were on stand-in captain Morgan as three were required from the last delivery to earn a series draw.
The left-hander, 43 not out at the time, did not disappoint, punishing Ashok Dinda for missing his length by launching an enormous 92-metre maximum down the ground to clinch a six-wicket-win at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.
Accompanied by the increasingly impressive Jos Buttler, who struck a crucial unbeaten 15, Morgan followed up the efforts of Michael Lumb and Alex Hales after the openers had set up England’s highest T20 chase.
Lumb got going against seamers Dinda and Parvinder Awana, putting the latter’s short-ball assault into question with a couple of powerful pull strokes.
Having been bogged down by Ravichandran Ashwin at Pune, Lumb also showed an ability to adapt by striking the off-spinner powerfully down the ground for six in between strike rotation.
Lumb departed soon after reaching his first international half-century, stumped off Yuvraj Singh attempting a wild heave, but Hales profited from an early reprieve - he was comically dropped at deep square-leg by Awana on seven - to keep England ticking over.
Yet Yuvraj, so impressive as India took a 1-0 lead two days ago, continued to undermine England, trapping Luke Wright leg before and having Hales caught in the deep.
Morgan responded with an array of fine strokes, sweeping either side of the wicket particularly well, but the game was on a knife-edge when Gautam Gambhir claimed a skier to dismiss Samit Patel off Dinda.
However, England’s skipper found a willing allay to match his own ice-cool temperament in Buttler, who launched the final ball of the penultimate over for a pivotal straight maximum.
That left nine needed and, after the strike was rotated over the first five deliveries, man of the match Morgan put paid to any beliefs that his supreme finishing ability would be affected by leading the side.
Earlier, India - having been asked to bat - were given a flying start by Virat Kohli’s fluent 38 - after which England dragged things back impressively and claimed wickets at regular intervals.
But Rohit Sharma, with 24, laid the platform for a late onslaught from Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni - who hit 35 not out and 38 respectively - that steered the hosts to 177 for eight.
That did not prove substantial enough, though, as an England side devoid of some of their stars claimed a series draw that will do much to improve their Christmas.
5:13pm - ENGLAND WIN BY SIX WICKETS! - Absolutely outrageous from Morgan! Dinda delivers a full-length ball and the left-hander launches it into orbit down the ground. An absolutely massive six. Unbelievable; it went 92m!
5:10pm - Real drama as, after two singles, Buttler goes down for the scoop and cleverly opens the face for two - having been denied a boundary by some fine fielding. He misses attempting to repeat the shot, but Morgan runs through for a single. THREE ARE NOW NEEDED FROM ONE BALL!
5:03pm - We may look back at this series as the true arrival of a superstar. Sensational from Jos Buttler, who leaves nine needed from the last over by thumping a full-toss through cover before launching Awana's final delivery down the ground for a brilliant six.
4:53pm - WICKET! Patel c Gambhir b Dinda; Eng 149/4 - Morgan takes a four from the second delivery of Dinda's over, cutting powerfully over point before Gambhir holds a skier following Patel's top-edged pull. Morgan then launches into a vicious pull for six. Twenty-three needed from 12 balls.
4:49pm - Patel strikes the first delivery of the next over for four, but only three more runs come from the next five. Thirty-seven needed from 18 balls. It’s very tight, but England will still be confident.
4:44pm - Key boundary at the end of the 16th over as Morgan drives Awana over cover. England need 44 from the final four overs.
4:40pm - DROPPED CHANCE! - Morgan responds brilliantly to his partner's departure, sweeping Yuvraj for another four before Chawla shells an extremely difficult chance at deep fine-leg after Samit Patel aimed a whip through leg. It was a great effort, to be fair.
4:36pm - WICKET! Hales c Dinda b Yuvraj 42; Eng 123/3 - Yuvraj has another! He is single-handedly keeping India in this; Hales holes out slog-sweeping.
4:32pm - The dew - a major reason England opted to bowl first - is proving a big factor now. Chawla, in particular, is struggling to grip the ball and Morgan responds to a leg-side delivery by powerfully sweeping fine for four before Hales thrashes a full-toss to the cover fence.
4:26pm - Oh, what a confident start that is from skipper Eoin Morgan, who casually reverse-sweeps Ashwin for four. England are 103 for two after 12 overs and looking in a good position.
4:20pm - WICKET! Wright lbw Yuvraj 5; Eng 94/2 - Luke Wright is struggling in the early part of his innings, but - helped by a mis-field - Hales drives a Chawla full-toss for four. Wright is then trapped plumb in front by Yuvraj, who claimed three wickets in the first T20 and now has two in this!
4:10pm - WICKET! Lumb st Dhoni b Yuvraj 50; Eng 80/1 - How does Yuvraj Singh always do this? His left-arm spinners look innocuous, yet he gets rid of Lumb, who attempts a wild heave through leg.
4:07pm - FIFTY! Lumb (30b 6x4 2x6) - Piyush Chawla comes in and England rotate impressively for six runs. Ashwin is not afforded the same respect, surprisingly, as Hales whips a six over midwicket and Lumb reaches a first international half-century with an edged four through third man. Outstanding stuff from England.
4pm - Well, this is quite a knock so far from Lumb, who begins the last over of the powerplay by advancing and launching Ashwin down the ground for six. Hales then powerfully sweeps for another four as England end the six-over period of fielding restrictions on 62 without loss.
3:54pm - Ravichandran Ashwin is introduced yet England still take seven runs from his over before Lumb finds the fence by guiding to third man and driving through cover in the next, delivered by Awana.
3:43pm - DROPPED CHANCE! - Awful from Awana, who drops a dolly after Hales pulls it down his throat at deep square-leg. A real let-off, which Lumb compounds by pulling to the midwicket boundary.
3:39pm - Parvinder Awana’s plan to Lumb is fairly obvious: bowl short. Yet it does not work as, after missing an attempted pull, the opener top-edges another for four before timing one perfectly for six. A little sawdust is the brought on to repair the bowler’s run-up before Lumb takes another three.
3:29pm - Perfect start for England as Michael Lumb cuts Ashok Dinda's first ball for a boundary, albeit with the help of some poor fielding, before Alex Hales does likewise as the opening over brings 12.
3:13pm - END OF INNINGS; India 177/8 - Good start to the final over from Dernbach, who has Ravichandran Ashwin caught at cover third ball having conceded just two runs off the previous two. The Surrey man then delivers a beamer, from which two runs come, before conceding just two more off the last two deliveries. Piyush Chawla was run out to end the innings.
3:04pm - WICKET! Dhoni c Patel b Bresnan 38; Ind 168/6 - Tame dismissal in the end as Dhoni pulls Bresnan to midwicket having struck the over's first ball for four. Remarkably, India's skipper has still yet to score a Twenty20 international half-century.
2:59pm - Another big set of six as Dhoni twice clears the rope, the first time over midwicket off a pull and the second down the ground as Dernbach bowls too full.
2:53pm - Excellent over for India as Raina drives aerially via cover, edges over the wicketkeeper and clips to fine-leg for fours, in between which he whipped a six to midwicket. Meaker takes the punishment; the hosts are 143 for five with three overs left.
2:47pm - DROPPED CHANCE! - A first blemish in the field for England, though it’s harsh to call this a chance. Raina edges Bresnan and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler parries an extremely difficult opportunity round the corner. Dhoni, having got his first boundary via an edge of Tredwell, then whips through leg for another.
2:40pm - WICKET! Rohit b Tredwell 24; Ind 108/5 - I was just about to say Rohit was looking outstanding having struck Wright over mid-off for four. However, his innings comes to an end as he is bowled slog-sweeping by Tredwell. India are in a spot of bother now; this looks an exceptional pitch. In comes Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
2:32pm - Back-to-back good overs for England as Meaker and Tredwell put the squeeze on. Suresh Raina looks far from convincing against the short ball.
2:22pm - WICKET! Gambhir c Bresnan b Wright 17; Ind 88/4 - Gambhir is put out of his misery, edging an attempted pull off Wright to the third-man boundary, Bresnan claiming an impressive catch.
2:19pm - Good aggression from Rohit Sharma, who launches Tredwell down the ground for a maximum, albeit one that was not timed as well as he would have hoped. At the other end, Gambhir is struggling having made 16 from just 24 balls.
2:10pm - WICKET! Yuvraj c Root b Wright 4; Ind 71/3 - Another one bites the dust. After James Tredwell sends down a decent first over, Yuvraj Singh pulls Wright down the throat of - you guessed it! - Root at long-on. Fine work from England, though that was a gift.
2:03pm - WICKET! Kohli lbw Meaker 38; Ind 64/2 - Huge, huge breakthrough for England. Meaker hits Kohli on the pad and, despite the ball appearing to be heading down leg, the batsman is sent back! He had looked in exceptional touch as well.
1:59pm - It's fair to say that move has not paid off. Wright's over yields 20 as Kohli twice drives through cover either side of back-to-back whipped boundaries through leg, the first of which came from a free-hit as the bustling seamer over-stepped. India are in the ascendancy.
1:54pm - Poor start from Stuart Meaker, who was extremely impressive in the opening encounter. After a wayward delivery flies down the leg side for five wides, Kohli and Gautam Gambhir each pull powerfully to the fence. Luke Wright is into the attack, with India 39 for one after five overs.
1:48pm - I spoke too soon; Dernbach bowls straight to Kohli, who flicks four through midwicket before cutting via point off a short-and-wide delivery immediately after.
1:42pm - Very good stuff from England as Dernbach beats Virat Kohli first up before Bresnan keeps the pressure on at the other end. Still no boundaries after three overs.
1:29pm - WICKET! Rahane c Root b Dernbach 3; Ind 7/1 - And Joe Root is involved immediately on debut! Ajinkya Rahane gives Jade Dernbach the charge, plays a cross-batted shot and edges down to the third-man boundary, where Root claims the catch. Excellent start from England.
1:34pm - Tim Bresnan opens the bowling for England and concedes just five, one of which comes via a wide down the leg side.
1:18pm - The news from the middle is that Root comes in for Danny Briggs, lengthening England's batting line-up significantly. India, meanwhile, have also made one chance, with Ravindra Jadeja dropping out for Rohit Sharma.
1:03pm - ENGLAND WIN TOSS AND BOWL - Eoin Morgan wins the toss and has decided to ask India to make first use of a good-looking surface. England were defeated when batting first in the opening encounter and will be hoping for a different outcome when chasing today.
1pm - Hello and welcome to ecb.co.uk’s live coverage of England’s last game on 2012. They need victory over India at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium in the second Twenty20 international to share the series. In early team news, Joe Root has been awarded his T20 cap and is set to make his format debut.