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Twitter Reactions: Alex Hales scripts stupendous English triumph in a humdinger

Kuldeep, surprisingly, went wicketless and conceded 34 runs in his spell.

England team
Liam Plunkett of England celebrates. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

India, after a stunning performance at Old Trafford, oozed confidence. England, on the contrary, resorted to ‘Merlyn’- a bowling machine in order to address their issue of playing spin. The match at the Sophia Gardens wasn’t short of excitement, however, Alex Hales and his calm and collected nerves ensured that the home team canter home by five wickets and draw level in the series with the decider to be played in Bristol.

Kohli shows the way

The decision to field first by Eoin Morgan turned out to be a masterstroke as the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and most importantly, KL Rahul, who tormented them in Manchester were back in the hut. David Willey and Jake Ball gave absolutely nothing away. Virat Kohli didn’t have much to do in the last match, but today he had a stiff task ahead of him and he didn’t disappoint.

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The Delhi-born cricketer put on a 57-run stand with Suresh Raina to pull the Men in Blue out of the precarious position. Raina was nipped out for 27 runs by Adil Rashid. Kohli and MS Dhoni steadied the ship and just when they threatened to take it away from the hosts, Kohli succumbed to a short delivery from Willey. Ball leaked 22 runs in the last over as India scrambled to 148 runs.

Hales shoulders England

In the run-chase, Jason Roy laid on to Umesh Yadav and racked 14 runs to kick-start proceedings. Umesh avenged the onslaught as he castled Roy in his second over. The Brits may have got a sigh of relief when Kohli grassed Jos Buttler at mid-off. Their joy was fleeting as Buttler was dismissed a couple of balls later with the Indian skipper making no mistake the second time.

Joe Root looked determined and collected a four. It was the same sweep shot that accounted for his wicket as Yuzvendra Chahal added one to the wickets column. Morgan and Alex Hales stitched a stand of 48 runs and the stand was broken by Hardik Pandya when he dismissed Morgan courtesy of a well-judged catch by Shikhar Dhawan. Hales and Bairstow then took charge and took the attack to Kuldeep, who gave away 16 runs from the 17th over,

The over made England the firm favourites. In the last three overs, they needed 23 runs and Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up Bairstow. In the last over, with Hales at the crease, the Brits needed 12 runs and had a fair chance. Hales started with a massive six and then hit a four to win the match for his side with two balls to spare. He also accomplished his half-century and ended up with unbeaten 58 runs.

Here is how Twitter reacted to India’s defeat in the close game:

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