AND all-rounder Stuart Broad celebrated the first win of his reign as Twenty20 captain after Samit Patel ensured India’s miserable tour continued at Old Trafford.
After a nine-wicket hammering at the hands of Sri Lanka earlier this summer, Broad handed debuts to youngsters Alex Hales and Jos Butler, but it was Patel who put the finishing touches on a six-wicket win, hitting three successive fours off the final over.
England had seemed destined for a more comfortable win but an inability to clear the ropes in the latter stage of their innings meant they had to wait until the final over to seal victory. Despite the late wobble, Broad claimed he was never worried about his middle order getting the job done.
He said: “The guys felt we had it under control.
“Morgan played pretty well, and then for Ravi and Samit to finish it off was pretty special.
“We’re delighted with the win, but there are things we can improve on.
“We came back at India very well, especially in restricting them to 165 after the start they got.
“We lost an early wicket but the way Morgan and the guys batted was fantastic.
“The atmosphere was brilliant, and really helped the guys. To come back from the position we were in after 10 overs is fantastic.”
India, who won the toss and opted to bat, made an explosive start to their innings and were 104-1 at one stage largely thanks to Ajinkya Rahane’s 61 from the 39 balls.
Rahul Dravid, making his first and last Twenty20 international appearance at the age of 37, chipped in with a breezy 31 which included three consecutive sixes off the bowling of Patel.
Suresh Raina, who struggled so badly in the recent Test series, made a vibrant 33 but he was the only one of India’s last seven batsmen to reach double figures as they were eventually bowled out for 165 with Jade Dernbach demonstrating excellent variation to end with four wickets.
England’s response got off a terrible start when debutant Hales was out for second ball duck but the ship was steadied by Kevin Pietersen and Craig Kieswetter. The South African-born duo put on 58 for the second wicket but both departed within the space of six balls.
Eoin Morgan’s superb 49 took England to the brink of victory, but an equally skilled penultimate over from Munaf Patel put the game back in the balance and the hosts required 10 off the last six balls.
They got home with a little bit of luck – eight runs squirting off the outside edge to third man – as Patel ensured England maintained the whip-hand over struggling India.