Pune, Dec 20 (IBNS) Riding on an all-round show by Yuvraj Singh, 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, starred first with his left-arm spin three wickets for 19 to restrict England to a modest 157 for six in 20 overs.
The southpaw then smashed 38 off 21 balls as India achieved the target of 158 with five wickets in hand and 13 balls to spare and made an impressive start to the two-match Twenty20 series after suffering a 1-2 loss in the Test series.
While chasing, 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 to 44 for two.
Yuvraj and Virat Kohli (21) then stitched a 49-run stand that kept the pace for India. 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.
Earlier, put in, England 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.