Hales' half-century sets up series decider

Alex Hales' unbeaten half-century gave England a five-wicket victory over India in Cardiff to level the three-match Twenty20 international series.

The tourists outplayed England at Old Trafford on Tuesday, but Eoin Morgan's side responded impressively three days later.

England restricted India to 148-5 with an outstanding display of bowling, Virat Kohli top scoring with 47 and MS Dhoni producing a late flurry of runs in his 500th international.

The game was in the balance when Jonny Bairstow fell for 28 and England needed 12 off the final over to keep the series alive, but Hales struck Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a six and a four, leaving David Willey to hit the winning runs with two balls to spare.

India got off to a poor start after Morgan put them in, Rohit Sharma falling to T20 international debutant Jake Ball (1-48) and fellow opener was Shikhar Dhawan run out after losing grip of his bat.

The tourists were 22-3 in the fifth over when KL Rahul was cleaned up by a beauty from Liam Plunkett (1-17), but the experienced Kohli and Suresh Raina steadied the ship with a stand of 57.

Raina (27) looked well set before he was stumped after failing to read an Adil Rashid (1-29) wrong 'un, so it was left for Kohli and former captain Dhoni to get India up to anything like a challenging total.

They ran superbly between the wickets and Jason Roy failed to take a difficult diving chance at long-off to dismiss the skipper, the ball dropping over the ropes in a Rashid over which went for 15.

Joe Root took an excellent catch to deny Kohli, who cleared the ropes twice, a half-century, to give Willey (1-18) a deserved wicket, but Dhoni flat-batted a couple of boundaries down the ground in an expensive final over from Ball which cost 22.

Umesh Yadav (2-36) bowled Roy with a quick one that nipped in and also removed the in-form Jos Buttler (14) before Root (9) fell to Yuzvendra Chahal, reducing England to 44-3 in the seventh over.

Dhawan took a superb catch in the deep to send Morgan on his way following a stand of 48 with Hales, who ticked along in a composed knock after struggling badly in Manchester.

Bairstow swept Kuldeep for a couple of sixes in an over, but the game was in the balance when he fell to Kumar, leaving England with 23 required from 17 balls.

Hales proved to be the match-winner, advancing to strike Kumar for a huge straight six from the first ball of the last over to bring up his 50, then picking up a boundary from the next delivery and watching Willey seal a decider in Bristol on Sunday.

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