KANPUR, Jan 26 (PTI): Eoin Morgan played a captain's knock as England outplayed a listless India in all departments to record a crushing seven-wicket victory in the first T20 International, thereby taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, here today.
England bowlers cashed in on the questionable shot selection of the Indian batsmen to restrict the hosts to 147 for seven, before Morgan led from front with a 51 off 38 balls to set up an emphatic win for his team.
Joe Root too played his part well to remain unbeaten with run a-ball 46 as England overhauled the 148-run target with 11 balls to spare.
Having found some momentum after their first win of the tour in Kolkata, England will now eye a series win in shortest format.
England, with their long batting line-up, were expected to chase down a target of 148 with little difficulty. Their destructive openers Sam Billings (22) and Jason Roy (19) provided a flying start with the visitors racing to 36 for no loss in three overs.
Jasprit Bumrah was the first to be at the receiving end after Ashish Nehra bowled a tidy first over. Billings was on fire from ball one as he smashed Bumrah for 20 runs in the second over. His stand out strike was the six over fine leg as he exposed all his stumps to dispatch the ball just over the ropes.
Roy was not to be left behind. In a sublime display of clean hitting, he hammered Nehra for a six over long off to make his intentions clear. Kohli realized the ball was coming on nicely on the bat off pacers, therefore he slowed with spinners at both ends.
The ploy worked immediately with leggie Yuvendra Chahal finding the stumps of both the dangerous openers in his first over, bringing the silent crowd back to life.
It was also a big moment for Jammu and Kashmir's sporting posterboy Parveez Rasool from the other end as he was making his T20 debut after playing his only international match way back in June 2014.
While Chahal dealt a double blow, Rasool gave away 12 runs in his opening spell of two overs.
Root and Morgan then joined hands with England reaching 43 for two in the four over. The blistering start was provided by the openers and all Root and Morgan needed to do was forge decent partnership.
That is what they exactly did and without taking many risks, they took their team on the path of victory with a 83-run stand.
Morgan especially was brutal against the spinners and ended up smashing four sixes in his whirlwind knock. He could not be there till the end as he mistimed one to long-off, giving Rasool his first wicket in T20 Internationals.
But Root had no difficulty in finishing off the match with minimum fuss even though he was twice bowled off Bumrah -- the first a no-ball and immediately off the free-hit delivery.
The second T20 International will be played in Nagpur on January 29.