'We lost wickets at regular intervals'

Cardiff: Alex Hales struck an unbeaten 58 off 41 balls to power a much-improved England to a series-levelling five-wicket victory over India in the second T20 International here. The hosts scored 149 for five in 19.4 overs to overcome India's sub-par total of 148 for five on a Sophia Gardens surface that offered bounce. Virat Kohli had top scored with 47 runs off 38 balls as the visitors struggled to get going after being put into bat.

Speaking after the loss, Indian captain Virat Kohli, said, "When you lose 3 wickets in the first 6 overs for 30 runs it's difficult to come back. I thought a partnership would get us to 145, and that would have been competitive. Average scores in local tournaments was around 145. England made good use of the wicket which had some extra bounce and some assistance for the seamers."

"They put pressure on us, and made us lose wickets, and the run-out didn't help either. We were probably about 15 runs short. We were pushed back initially in the first six overs. Our powerplay was not good enough, and the score in the end reflects that and we just couldn't push as much as we wanted in the end. You do take everything into account, like the pitch, etc."

"We did well and we knew it would be difficult for England to chase down 149 and level the series, and I think they had the partnership we didn't to close it off in the end. We knew it would be something they would have to work hard to win. They played Kuldeep really well. Chahal was outstanding and they switched roles in both games. They did their homework on Kuldeep and they reaped the rewards. It's a cruel format for the bowlers, Umesh was fantastic as well, and so was Bhuvi, but unfortunately he couldn't finish it off. That boundary in the end (19th over) from Hales pulled it back for them and these small things count in T20s which makes it such an interesting watch. We gotta brush it aside, take it in our stride and move onto the next game. I think we competed quite well but England were the better side, that's why they came through."

Englands captain Eoin Morgan, said, "I think we did well to come back from Old Trafford, we played quite well. When there is bounce in the wicket there is certainly a chance to take wickets upfront, and we did that. Willey did well and set the tone and Jake Ball was great on debut. Only chasing 150 can be a cagey affair but we will walk away from this with a lot of confidence. The momentum does ebb and flow, and the side that grabs the moment will definitely win the game. Alex was fantastic today. The bowling unit adapted to conditions really well. We got good partnerships going which is important when you're chasing. We normally play spin well, and the guys had good confidence coming into the series and they stuck to the plans and executed extremely well today. It's a matter of being logical and committing to the plan and there was complete transparency in everything that our players did."


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