KANPUR: Skipper Eoin Morgan and batting mainstay Joe Root engineered England’s easy chase to secure their seven-wicket victory against India in the first Twenty20 International on Thursday.
Beaten in the preceding test and one-day series, England showed discipline with the ball to stifle India’s vaunted batting order, restricting them to a modest 147-7 at Kanpur’s Green Park Stadium.
The visitors then returned to overhaul their opponents’ target with 11 balls to spare, with Morgan hitting a fluent 51 and Root producing a run-a-ball 46 not out.
The teams now move to Nagpur for the second Twenty20 of the three-match series on Sunday.
After Morgan won the toss and opted to field, his bowlers stuck to impeccable line and length, rarely allowing the home batsmen to free their arms, with only one lone six being hit in the entire Indian innings.
Opening the innings with Lokesh Rahul, home captain Virat Kohli made 29 but with no width to play with the Indian batsmen were straitjacketed at the crease.
Suresh Raina made a brisk 34 before exposing his leg-stump which was pegged back by a full-length Chris Jordan delivery.
With the boundaries drying up, former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to nudge the ball around hoping for a late assault which never came.
Dhoni finished unbeaten on 36, repeatedly trying to clear the boundary as India fell short of the 150-mark.
Morgan did not need a sixth bowler, which meant leg-spinner Adil Rashid had no chance to attack the Indian batsmen.
Jason Roy (19) and Sam Billings (22) gave England a flying start, raising 42 runs before left-arm spinner Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed both the openers in the fourth over of the English innings.
Morgan and Root then batted India out of the contest with their 83-run partnership.
Morgan’s fourth six brought up his fifty but the England captain holed out in the very next delivery from Parvez Rasool.
Root was bowled twice in two balls from Jaspreet Bumrah — the first off a no-ball and the second one was a free-hit — allowing him to stay put and complete his team’s emphatic victory.