A 77-run stand between English wicketkeeper-batsmen Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow helped the visitors register a comprehensive eight-wicket win at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on Tuesday. The win gives England a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

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England skipper Eoin Morgan, making his 100th T20I appearance, won the toss and elected to field.

Led by express pacer Mark Wood, England restricted India to a below-par total of 156 runs, despite the fireworks from skipper Virat Kohli, with Buttler notching his 11th T20I fifty to ease the visitors to victory. 

England were put under early pressure after spinner Yuzvendra Chahal claimed opener Jason Roy (9). A 58-run partnership between Buttler and the world’s top-rated T20I batsman Dawid Malan (18) pulled England clear of trouble before Washington Sundar dismissed the latter. 

Buttler went from strength-to-strength, glittering his 52-ball, 83-run knock with five fours and four sixes. He was well-supported from the other end by Bairstow, whose 28-ball 40 included five boundaries. 

Earlier, Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s marauding 77-run knock guided India to a strong finish after a stuttering start from India, losing three key wickets in the powerplay. 

India’s top-order troubles continued despite the return of veteran  opener Rohit Sharma with KL Rahul extending his slump in form with yet another duck. 

Wood, returning to the squad after missing out on Sunday’s encounter due to injury, was India’s tormentor-in-chief, bagging three wickets to put the visitors in the driver’s seat. 

The 31-year-old pacer claimed Rahul, who recorded his third duck in four innings, and Rohit, featuring in his first T20I since February last year, before Ishan Kishan was dismissed by Chris Jordan. 

Pant (25) looked well-settled in the middle before an unfortunate mix-up resulted in his run-out. Pant seemed content after running an easy double off Sam Curran’s bowling before Kohli pushed for a third, which left Pant well short of his crease. 

Shreyas Iyer also perished to a well-directed bouncer for Wood’s third scalp before Jordan had Hardik Pandya caught by Archer off the very last delivery of the innings. Kohli and Pandya added 70 runs to the board for the sixth wicket from 33 deliveries. 

The remainder of the series, including this match, will be played behind closed doors in view of the rising COVID-19 cases in the country.