An outstanding 100 not out from Rohit Sharma helped India chase down England’s 198 as the visitors clinched the three match series at Bristol, on a day which saw a number of records fall, and which served as a tasty appetizer for the test matches between the two sides to come later in the summer.
Prior to the match England chose to rest Joe Root in favour of Ben Stokes, whilst India made two changes from Cardiff with pacemen Siddarth Kaul and Deepak Chahar replacing Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and, perhaps, surprisingly after his ODI heroics at Old Trafford, Kuldeep Yadav.
Put into bat, England got off to a lightening start with Jason Roy and Jos Buttler, and the pair put on 94 in less than 8 overs before Buttler was bowled by Kaul for 34. Roy then fell to Chahar for 67, having hit 7 sixes, caught behind by MS Dhoni, the first of 5 catches for the wicketkeeper, which is a record for a T20I. It also took the number of catches to his name in such internationals to 50, again another record.
At that point England began to lose their way and were vulnerable to the medium pace of Hardik Pandya who took 4 for 38, as the hosts stumbled. Alex Hales scored 30, but could not repeat his performance of Cardiff, and there were cameos from Jonny Bairstow (25) and Stokes (14) but England only scored 87 off the last 10 overs, as they posted 198 – 9.
No team had ever successfully chased a higher T20I total against England, but India managed it with style. Shikhar Dhawan fell early to David Willey, and Chris Jordan produced a stunning athletic catch to dismiss Rahul for 19, but Sharma and Virat Kohli put together a stand of 89 as the English bowlers were punished by the Indian pair. Another brilliant piece of fielding by Jordan saw him dismiss Kohli off his own bowling for 43, but then Pandya underlined his own fine match performance with an unbeaten 33, as he and Sharma reach their target with 8 balls to spare.
Sharma hit 5 sixes and 11 fours in his undefeated century and claimed the man of the match award, although both Pandya and Dhoni could also have been under consideration for the honour on a day which gave the capacity crowd rich entertainment.