Iyer bats well but India struggle to 124/7 in opening T20 against England

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Ahmedabad, Mar 12 (PTI) Indian batsmen struggled to score freely before Shreyas Iyer showed the way with a dogged 67-run knock that took the hosts to 124 for seven against England in the opening Twenty20 International, here on Friday.

The home batsmen never got the momentum going in the series-opener as England's pace-heavy attack, led by Mark Wood, used the extra bounce effectively to trouble them.

Most of the Indian batsmen went for flashy shots when placement would have served them well. The track had varied pace and required patience from batsmen.

Iyer though gauged the nature of the pitch quickly and adjusted his game accordingly, playing a sensible innings that helped them cross the 100-run mark.

Laced with eight boundaries and a six, and coming off 48 balls, it is Iyer's best T20 knock. He fell in the last over.

England surprised India by opening the attack with leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who was not only economical but also dismissed Virat Kohli (0) after KL Rahul (1) dragged one back onto his stumps from Jofra Archer (3/23).

Feeling the heat, Shikhar Dhawan -- who got the opportunity since Rohit Sharma has been rested -- attempted to break the shackles with a flashy shot off Wood but completely missed the line to see his timber disturbed.

In-form batsman Rishabh Pant (21) was prompted to number four. He struck the ball clean, which included a reverse-flick off Archer for a six, but the England bowlers kept it tight for the home team, which was tottering at 34 for three in eight overs.

Pant and Iyer added 28 runs for the fourth wicket before the former hit one straight to Jonny Bairstow off Ben Stokes.

That brought Hardik Pandya to the crease, who true to his style, looked for some big hits but could not do much.

The visiting players wore black armbands in memory of former cricketer Joey Benjamin, who died Wednesday. PTI AT AT ATK ATK