Nagpur: India produced an inspired bowling display to deny England their first limited-overs series in the country since 1984, winning the second Twenty-20 International (T20I) here on Sunday by five runs.
India posted 144/8 after being sent into bat in the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium. England, seemingly in control, faltered at the end to be restricted to 139/6.
Young pacer Jasprit Bumrah bowled an inspired last over, conceding only two runs, to deny England a victory. He finished the match with figures of 20/2 in his four overs, giving away only three runs in the 18th over.
Veteran pacer Asish Nehra (3/28) also contributed to India’s win.
England won the first match of the three-match series by seven wickets at Kanpur. The third match is at Bengaluru on February 1.
Sam Billings (12) got England going in the run chase with two huge sixes of leg-spinner Yuzvender Chahal in the third over.
But Nehra struck twice in the next over, having Billings (12) caught by Bumrah at fine leg in the first ball and then induced a leading edge of Jason Roy (10) in the next ball to be caught at mid-on by Suresh Raina.
The twin strikes jolted England. They needed time to get back in their run-chasing groove.
Skipper Eoin Morgan (17) and Joe Root (38) began rebuilding. Root struck two fours in the ninth over, off leg-spinner Amit Mishra, to increase the run rate.
England reached 65/2 in 10 overs, needing 80 more runs to win in 60 balls.
But their ambitions received a blow when Morgan mistimed a lofted shot off Mishra to be caught at deep midwicket in the 11th over.
Mishra then bowled Ben Stokes (38) in the third ball of the over but replays showed he overstepped to concede a no-ball.
Stokes launched himself to a boundary and a six off Raina in the 14th over to increase the run rate. He continued with a pull shot off Chahal for a six to bring up England’s 100 in the 15th over.
England were 104/3 in 15 overs, needing 41 runs off 30 balls.
The 52-run fourth-wicket partnership of Root and Stokes steadily took England to a rare series win in India.
A desperate Kohli, needing a breakthrough, brought back Nehra, who duly responded, removing Stokes with a slower fuller delivery on middle stump that the left-hander missed and was adjudged leg before wicket.
The pressure oscillated towards the English batsmen despite Root anchoring one end. But they needed 24 runs from 12 balls and urgently needed boundaries.
Jos Butler (15) whipped Nehra for a four and a six in the 19th over to inch them closer.
Root was caught lbw by Bumrah in the first ball of the last over, with England needing eight for victory. Bumrah then castled Butler in the fourth ball, with England still requiring seven runs off two balls, which proved too much.
Earlier, India posted a paltry total.
Opener K.L. Rahul (71) was the top scorer for the hosts while Manish Pandey contributed with a crucial 30 runs.
Put in to bat, Indian openers Virat Kohli and Rahul started the innings cautiously by playing the ball to its merit.
After four overs, Kohli, who slammed 21 runs in 15 balls, failed to continue his aggressive batting as he was dismissed by pacer Chris Jordan.
Jordan bowled a slower and wider ball, to which Kohli stepped out for a lofted shot but ended up getting caught at long-on to Liam Dawson.
Incoming batsman Raina, who impressed in the last match at Kanpur, was sent back by leg-spinner Adil Rashid after only two overs with seven runs.
The recalled left-hander tried to slog sweep but ended up hitting the ball straight to Jordan at long-on.
After eight overs, India were struggling at 56/2 with two premier batsmen departing cheaply.
Rahul, who seemed to be in good nick, played his regular shots and signalled his return to form while incoming batsman Yuvraj Singh failed to step up to the occasion, being sent packing in the 11th over while trying a sweep to spinner Moeen Ali. The Punjab batsman was adjudged leg before wicket.
Unperturbed by the fall of wickets, Rahul went on to slam a quick-fire fifty. His 32-ball knock was laced with three boundaries and two massive sixes.
The fall of Yuvraj’s wicket brought in Manish Pandey, who along with Rahul helped the hosts to get past 100-run mark in the 14th over.
Both batsmen forged a 56-run fourth-wicket partnership before Rahul was caught by Strokes at deep mid-wicket.
Jordan bowled a slower delivery on the off-stump to end an impressive 47-ball knock of Rahul.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni then joined Pandey and together they made their intentions clear right from the beginning of their partnership.
Pandey slammed a huge six off a slower and fuller delivery of pacer Tymal Mills. The 27-year-old got underneath the ball and muscled it out of the field. But he was bowled out by Mills in the same over.
In the last over, the hosts failed to press the accelerator, only managing five runs, losing three wickets in the process.
For England, Jordan scalped 3-22 to be the most successful while Mills, Ali and Rashid chipped in with a wicket each.
Brief score: India: 144/8 (K.L.Rahul 71, Manish Pandey 21; Chris Jordan 3-22), England 139/6 (Joe Root 38, Ben Stokes 38; Asish Nehra 3/28)