Pune, Dec 20 (IANS) An all round performance by Yuvraj Singh helped India beat England by five wickets in the first of the two Twenty20 international at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium here Thursday.
Yuvraj, who made a comeback to international cricket this year after recovering from cancer, picked up three wickets for 19 and smashed 38 off 21 balls as India made an impressive start to the two-match Twenty20 series after suffering a 1-2 loss in the Test series.
India achieved the target of 158 with five wickets in hand and 13 balls to spare.
India made a good start with Gautam Gambhir (16) and Ajinkya Rahane (19). But double strikes by Tim Bresnan (2/26) in the fifth over reduced India from 42 for no loss to 44 for two.
Yuvraj and Virat Kohli (21) then stitched a 49-run stand for the third wicket that brought back India into the match. Yuvraj hit three sixes and two fours during his brief stay.
Suresh Raina (26) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (24 not out) came up with valuable knocks to wrap up the innings.
Dropped from the Test team after a poor run of form, Yuvraj sent a strong message to the selectors for the limited over series against Pakistan that starts next week.
Earlier, put in, Engand were restricted to 157 for six in 20 overs. Left-arm spinner Yuvraj bagged three and pacer Ashok Dinda bagged two or 18.
England made a poor start losing opener Michael Lumb (1) inside four overs but crucial knocks from Alex Hales (56) and Luke Wright (34) got the innings back on track.
Samit Patel (24) and James Buttler (33 not out) came up with valuable knocks that helped England put on a challenging total.