Billings’ 93 helps England XI hunt 305

Sam Billings’ sweep-laden 93 helped England to their first win of the tour.

Shikhar Dhawan and Yuvraj Singh scored half-centuries, and the relatively less-heralded Ambati Rayudu scored a hundred. But, the magic the crowd thirsted for had to be conjured by the man they had assembled in large numbers for at the Brabourne Stadium. MS Dhoni was in a mood to oblige and belted out a crackling assortment of his show-stopping strokes on the way to an unbeaten 40-ball 68.

This was billed as Dhoni’s last match as captain of an Indian side, and his knock was meant to be the appetizer to a victorious sign-off. England, and in particular Sam Billings (93 off 85 balls), however, were determined to hijack the plot. A strong start, a rickety middle-phase engineered by India’s spinners and a nervy finish ensued, and at the end, England sneaked to their first victory of the tour in a game they they looked to win in a canter.


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