England were expected to bring out their best game in the must-win clash and they have done the same thing in a stylish fashion, registering a 31-run victory over India at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Sunday. The English team displayed a sensational disciplined show both with the bat and ball to break India unbeaten streak and defeated them for the first time since the 1992 World Cup. With this win, England have kept themselves alive and kicking in the tournament, while India will now have to wait for a win in order to seal the semis spot.
Bairstow and Stokes’ sensational knocks gives England 337
After winning the toss and electing to bat first in a big pressure game, the two England openers, Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy came out in a pretty vicious assaulting mood, going after the Indian bowlers from the word go. The duo batted in a sensational aggressive fashion to put up a fabulous opening stand of 160 runs in just 22 overs. Roy got out first after scoring a vital 57-ball 66, while Bairstow kept the assault running at the other end, notching up a remarkable knock of 111 runs off 109 balls that included of 10 fours and 6 sixes.
Shami then brought his team back in the game by removing both Bairstow and Eoin Morgan by the 34th over. The pair of Ben Stoke and Joe Root got together to steady the things for England and stitched a fine stand of 70 runs before the latter got out in the 45th over.
Shami claimed his first five-wicket haul of the World Cup to lead India to some sort of respite, but Stokes played a phenomenal innings of 79 runs off just 54 balls, to help England finish with a daunting total of 337 runs on the board. For India, Shami finished with a fifer, while Bumrah and Kuldeep took a wicket each.
Plunkett and Woakes’ tag-team efforts defies India’s hard fight
Chasing a big target of 338 runs, India got off to a poor start as struggling opening batsman KL Rahul in just the third over of the innings. After his dismissal, the experienced duo comprising of Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli got together to resurrect the Indian innings. The duo started India’s progress on a pretty tentative note early on taking out the difficult phase of the game smartly.
However, after getting set, both Kohli and Rohit started taking the attack to the England bowlers, playing some aggressive cricket to come in terms with the required run-rate. At the halfway mark, both the batters got settled at the crease, notching up impressive half-centuries as well and now also started to increase the scoring rate. Liam Plunkett then brought a massive moment in the game by picking the prized scalp of Kohli, who was batting very nicely before getting dismissed for a 76-ball 66 and breaking the 138-run stand as well.
Rohit notched up his third hundred of the tournament in the 35th over, but just when things looked settled for India, England came back with Woakes removing the centurion, Rohit, after a sensational innings of 102 runs that consisted of 15 boundaries. The pair of Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant then started to take their chances by playing some attacking shots, before Woakes once again disrupted their progress by taking a stunning catch to dismiss Pant in the 40th over.
Plunkett, who has been a brilliant with the ball in the day, then also removed the dangerous looking Pandya to probably put the last nail in the coffin. After Hardik’s wicket, the required run-rate quickly rose up to the impossible barriers and things became pretty difficult for India. Towards the end, MS Dhoni did remain unbeaten on a 31-ball 42, but India managed to score 306 runs in their quota of 50 overs, falling well short of the target. For England, Plunkett bowled amazingly well to pick up three wickets, while Woakes scalped two crucial wickets.
England: 337/7 in 50 overs (Jonny Bairstow-111, Ben Stokes-79, Jason Roy-66; Mohammed Shami 5/69)
India: 306/5 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma-102, Virat Kohli-66, Hardik Pandya-45; Liam Plunkett 3/55, Chris Woakes 2/58)
Result: England won the match by 31 runs.