A lot was said about Jonny Bairstow and his England team before the game and as they say, the best way to answer your critics is with the best of performances and that is what the right hander did in the first half of the big pressure, must-win game against India at Edgbaston, Birmingham. The English opener smashed a remarkable hundred and along with his partner Jason Roy rallied apart the Indian bowlers in the first 20 overs with some vicious hitting.
Mohammed Shami did bring India back in the game for a while with his maiden World Cup five-wicket haul, however, Ben Stokes then once again forced the attacking mode and played an incredible hand in the end to help England finish with a massive total on the board.
Roy and Bairstow make merry of the Indian bowlers
England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and opted to bat first as he reckoned that the pitch is a decent one to bat on. The two England openers, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow came out in a dazzling mood, going after the Indian new ball bowlers from the word go. Roy smashed Mohammed Shami for two crisp boundaries in the very first over and from there on England’s tempo for the game was pretty clear. The duo of Bairstow and Roy never looked back from that point and kept on ripping apart the Indian bowling line-up, bringing up a fabulous century opening stand in just the 16th over.
The two England openers never allowed the Indian wrist-spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav to settle down as they dispatched them for cleaners in all parts of the ground. Both the aggressive batters reached their respective half-centuries by the 17th over and the Indian captain Virat Kohli was looking pretty much frustrated as a massive first innings score seemed to be on the cards.
Jadeja takes a stunner; Bairstow racks up a sensational ton
Then came a big moment in the game as the substitute fielder Ravindra Jadeja took a stunning catch to dismiss Roy for a 57-ball 66. However, at the other end, Bairstow looked unperturbed, racking up a staggering hundred off 90 balls and he even looked hungry for much more in the day. However, Shami then bowled a fine short delivery to get rid of the dangerous Bairstow, who had already done his job of laying down a solid platform with a brilliant innings of 111 runs off 109 balls that included of 10 fours and 6 cracking sixes.
Stokes defies Shami’s fifer
Shami also removed the opposition skipper Eoin Morgan in his next over to help India make a definite comeback in the game and force England on the backfoot. These three quick wickets did slow down the aggressive run-flow, but then the duo of Joe Root and Ben Stokes joined hands to steady the England innings. The duo stitched an impressive partnership of 70 runs before Shami once again plucked out a breakthrough for India in the form of Root.
However, Stokes kept the attack going against the Indian bowlers, notching up yet another half-century in this World Cup. After Root’s wicket, Jos Buttler came to the crease and dispatched Shami for a couple of amazing strikes before getting out in the same over for an 8-ball 20. Stokes played an outstanding innings of 79 runs off just 54 balls that included of six fours and three sixes, to help England post a huge total of 337 runs on the board.
The Indian bowlers had a pretty tough outing as they were up against an aggressive English batting line-up. Shami finished with a five-wicket haul, while Bumrah and Kuldeep picked up a wicket each.
England 337/7 in 50 overs (Jonny Bairstow-111, Ben Stokes-79, Jason Roy-66; Mohammed Shami 5/69, Jasprit Bumrah 1/44) vs India.