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 in Cardiff.
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.
England used the short-ball tactic to good effect and tied down both Rohit Sharma (5) and Shikhar Dhawan (10).
Rohit was the first to go, trying to pull a short delivery after failing to make contact repeatedly. He skied a catch off debutant Jake Ball (1-32) in the second over and was caught behind.
First game's centurion KL Rahul (6) was in next but didn't look comfortable at the crease either. The groundsmen left an extra layering of grass on the wicket's top-surface and English bowlers used it amply.
With the short boundaries, they used short bowling against every top-order batsman. Even an in-form Rahul couldn't contend with this tactic, thus managing to miss an off-cutter from Liam Plunkett (1-17) in the fifth over and was bowled.
Three balls later, Dhawan was run out in a bizarre manner as he failed to make ground going for a quick single, and lost control of his bat at the same time.
India were reduced to 22-3 in the fifth over and only managed 31-3 in the powerplay overs. It was India's lowest powerplay total for 27 consecutive T20Is since June 2016 when they scored 29-3 against Zimbabwe in Harare.
Dhawan's dismissal had brought Suresh Raina (27 off 20 balls) and Kohli together at the crease. Despite his weakness against the short ball, the left-hander did well to help put on 57 runs for the fourth wicket with the Indian skipper.
Perhaps they were helped in this regard with Adil Rashid (1-29) coming on to bowl. Kohli, on 15 not out, survived a chance in the 11th over when he hit the leg spinner to long on only for Jason Roy to drop and push the ball past boundary for a six.
Raina and Kohli brought up their 50 off 38 balls and immediately afterwards the former upped the ante. He started looking for quick runs with his partner holding one end together. It didn't work, as Raina was stumped off Rashid in the 13th over.
Playing his 500th international game, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (32 not out off 24 balls) then came to the crease and added a quick 32 runs off 24 balls with Kohli.
A highlight of this short partnership was their running between the wickets, with pushes even to the 30-yard circle returning two runs, and they took the score past 100 in the 16th over.
Dhoni and Hardik Pandya (12 not out) then added 32 runs off 17 balls, with 22 runs coming off the last over from Ball.
Chasing 149, England didn't get off to the best start as Umesh Yadav (2-36) bowled Jason Roy (15) in the third over with a beautiful inswinger.
India though desperately wanted Jos Buttler's (14) wicket, and the desperation grew when Kohli dropped him at mid-off off Umesh in the fifth over. He was on 10 not out then.
Much to the Indian skipper's relief, it didn't cost much as three balls later, Buttler gave away an almost identical chance and this time Kohli held on, running to his right and sparking his customary wild celebration.
Hales and skipper Eoin Morgan (17) then added 48 runs for the fourth wicket. Even as England were in cruise mode, Hardik Pandya (1-28) provided the breakthrough against the run of play. In fact, the wicket should be attributed to Shikhar Dhawan who took a leaping catch at fine leg boundary that stunned the crowd.
Jonny Bairstow then showed that practicing against the spin-bowling machine had paid dividends. He smacked 28 off 18 balls, and the highlight of his innings were the two tall sixes he hit off Kuldeep in the 17th over.England crossed 100 in the 15th over, as Hales reached his eighth T20I half-century off 39 balls
India Playing XI for today's match: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli(c), Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(w), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal
The Indian team management is likely to stick to the same playing eleven, and will not try to disturb their winning combination. In the batting department. Opener Shikhar Dhawan, who failed in the first match, would like to rectify his mistakes in the second T20I against England, while in bowling department, pacers would like to display some disciplined bowling after leaking runs in the opening 10 overs of the first T20I.
On the other hand, England will be desperate to bounce back in the threematch series and would once again rely on opener Jos Buttler, who continued his purple patch of form with another half-century in the opening match. In order to put up a fight against the visitors, apart from Buttler, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, and Eoin Morgan will have to quickly learn to read India's wrist spinners. While England spinner Adil Rashid did a fair job in the first outing, Moeen Ali was expensive and will have to be economical against the spin-friendly Indian batsmen. The English camp will also miss the services of pacer Tom Curran, who has been ruled out of the remaining T20Is and the ODI series owing to a left side strain.
How a series win will affect India and England ICC T20I ranking?
In terms of ICC Rankings, a 2-0 series lead will allow India to close the gap with second-placed Australia, while a whitewash will catapult them to second position, behind top-ranked Pakistan. Australia will have to win both their next two games in the ongoing tri-series in Zimbabwe to stay above India.
A loss on Friday will see England drop down to rank seven below New Zealand, South Africa and West Indies, respectively.
India on the brink of making T20I record
India stand on the cusp of a sixth successive T20I series win — a run stretching back to their 2-1 win over New Zealand at home in November 2017. In all, they have been unbeaten in bilateral T20I series since September last year.
When and where to watch India vs England match
Match Date: 06 July 2018, Friday
Match Timing: 22:00 IST, 16:30 GMT, 17:30 Local
Match Venue: Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, Wales
India vs England match will be broadcast on Sony Six, Sony Six HD in English Commentary. India vs England second T20Is will be available for live stream on Sony Liv app.
India vs England head to head in T20I
Total matches: 13
Here are a few things to know about India and England team ahead of second T20Is to be played at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, and who has said what before the clash:
IPL has helped us break barriers with England players, says Virat Kohli: The participation of English players in the IPL has only increased the "warmth" among rival players but on field, India skipper Virat Kohli expects a high intensity battle between both teams during the long England tour. While Jos Buttler stood out amongst the England players in the IPL, Kohli said the league helped them break the ice and know their rivals better.
With sensational century, Rahul relieved to break 564-day jinx: In-form Indian batsman KL Rahul has heaved a sigh of relief after finally breaking his chain of half-centuries with a sublime hundred against England in the opening T20 International of the three-match series. He scored 101 not out off 54 balls to help India beat England by eight wickets, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Until Tuesday, Rahul had gone 564 runs without breaching the three-figure mark. His last hundred also came against England, in the fifth Test at Chennai on December 16, 2016, wherein he scored 199 runs.
England practice with spin-bowling machine to counter Kuldeep threat: England all-rounder Chris Jordan has insisted that his team doesn't have issues facing quality spin despite being foxed by Indian chinaman Kuldeep Yadav in the first T20 International of the three-match series. "We've been on a high in white-ball cricket for a while now. One game, one defeat, shouldn't change our confidence whatsoever. You still want to be on the front foot, and still want to play positive cricket. It was a good spell from Kuldeep Yadav, first of all, and then a very good innings from KL Rahul. They thoroughly deserved the win," said Jordan
Virat Kohli breaks another record, becomes fastest player to score 2000 T20I runs: Indian Cricket team captain Virat Kohli became the first Indian and fastest player to score 2000- run mark in T20I. Virat Kohli achieved this feat during the first of the three T20Is against England at Old Trafford, Manchester. Kohli, who needed just 8 runs to achieve the remarkable feat, reached the coveted mark in the 16th over when India were on 142/2. Only three batsmen have recorded the unique feat so far. New Zealand's Martin Guptill tops the list with 2271 runs under his belt in 73 innings. He is followed by former New Zealand star Brendon McCullum, who has 2140 runs in 71 innings. Recently, Pakistan's Shoaib Malik entered the 2000-run club. He achieved the feat against Zimbabwe in a match in Harare. The Pakistan batsman took 59 T20Is to score 2000 runs. Currently, Kohli is placed eighth in the ICC T20I Rankings for batsmen and is yet to hit a century in the shortest format.
India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (WK), Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav.
England: Eoin Morgan (Captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Jos Buttler (WK), Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Dawid Malan.