2019 Cricket World Cup: India loses to England, tastes first defeat of the tournament

England’s Jonny Bairstow celebrates after reaching century during the 2019 Cricket World Cup against India in Birmingham on June 30, 2019.

England’s Jonny Bairstow celebrates after reaching century during the 2019 Cricket World Cup against India in Birmingham on June 30, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

After Bairstow-Roy show, Stokes joins the party for the host; Rohit’s century, Kohli’s fifth fifty on the trot and Dhoni-Pandya cameos not enough

India suffered its maiden reverse in the current World Cup as England rode high on its 337 for seven and paused India at 306 for five.

Productive phase

Pursuing the host’s steep total, India lost its opener K.L. Rahul for a duck and then found stability through a 138-run second-wicket partnership between Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

The former etched a third hundred (102) in this World Cup and Kohli registered his fifth consecutive fifty. But an asking rate that hovered around 10 proved tough to counter and despite some big hits from Hardik Pandya, Kohli’s men stumbled to a 31-run defeat.

On song

England’s 300-plus score was mounted upon the rousing knocks of Man-of-the-Match Jonny Bairstow (111), Jason Roy (66) and Ben Stokes (79).

Host captain Eoin Morgan won the toss, elected to bat and found validation through his openers Bairstow and Roy, who added 160 for the first wicket, while Stokes flourished in the final stretch.

India did exert some control in the middle overs and Mohammed Shami bagged five wickets, but in the end England prevailed.

England’s mammoth score proves beyond India’s reach

“I am one among the five per cent England fans at the ground!,” stated a tongue-in-cheek tweet from a home team follower as a packed Edgbaston buzzed with excitement while the host and India clashed in a key World Cup fixture. In the end, the five per cent at the ground had a Sunday to celebrate while a sea of blue lapsed into silence.

England amassed 337 for seven and restricted India to 306 for five. It was India’s first defeat in the current World Cup while Eoin Morgan’s men found a toehold to stay alive, thanks to their 31-run win.

Nervous start

India started nervously as Rohit Sharma, on four, edged Jofra Archer but Joe Root dropped it at second slip while K.L. Rahul spooned one back to Chris Woakes. Virat Kohli, walking into thunderous applause, drove Archer and Rohit struck Mark Wood on either side of the pitch and as the partnership developed, the two clattered fours off Liam Plunkett.

Masters at work

The duo’s mastery became evident as Kohli, wrists and moving feet, flicked Ben Stokes and Rohit cut Adil Rashid. Kohli’s fifth fifty on the trot was etched. Rohit wasn’t too far behind and the two played percentage cricket, picking their fours, running hard and revealing a defensive blade when a delivery demanded respect. There were bursts of exquisite shot-making too, be it Kohli picking his spots on the off-side or Rohit stringing a garland of three fours off Stokes through a pull and two square-drives.

Just as the 138-run second-wicket partnership seemed primed for more, Kohli (66) fell, his leaning drive looping up to backward point. Next-man Rishabh Pant, who replaced Vijay Shankar following the latter’s toe injury, threatened a run-out but Rohit calmed the youngster. The two shared a 52-run partnership during the course of which the vice-captain registered his third century (102) in this World Cup. After that a tired slog off Woakes grazed the edge and Rohit retreated.

India 198 for three in 36.1 overs, adrift by 139 runs, needing more than 10 per over and a nervous crowd prayed to the Hindu pantheon as religious chants rent the air. Hardik Pandya pounded Woakes for three fours while southpaw Pant tried an uppish flick down the leg-side off Plunkett and watched Woakes pluck a stunner near fine-leg — a sprinting, gravity-defying catch.

Required rate jumps up

India four for 226 in the 40th over and Pandya and M.S. Dhoni joined forces. Pandya split one through a diving Rashid’s palms at backward point but there was no miracle to be savoured. As the required rate quadrupled in the final stretch, the all-rounder fell and for Dhoni, it became a tale of too much to score with too few a deliveries at stake.

Earlier, Morgan elected to bat and the England innings prospered through the efforts of centurion Jonny Bairstow (111, 109b, 10x4, 6x6), Jason Roy (66) and Stokes (79). Initially, openers Roy and Bairstow maintained a frenetic pace. Roy thumped two fours off Mohammed Shami’s first over but also inner-edged the speedster nearly onto the stumps. Bairstow too did a similar act and survived.

Kohli employed Yuzvendra Chahal from the sixth over, swapped the ends of Shami and Jasprit Bumrah and yet there was no respite. Roy smote Chahal and when the opener tried to pull Pandya, Dhoni collected, the bowler appealed, Kohli mulled about a review but the former India captain opposed it. The snickometer hinted an edge! On 21, Roy celebrated with a six and four.

Bairstow proved that he too could trigger mayhem — a minimal back-lift exploded into a blazing stroke. He hammered the spinners and Kuldeep Yadav wasn’t spared either. India found relief finally when Roy tried to heave Kuldeep over long-on and found a diving Ravindra Jadeja, substituting for an injured Rahul.

Bairstow on the prowl

Root then dropped anchor and Bairstow extended his plunder. On nervous 99 he missed a Pandya bouncer but the next ball was patted for a valuable single. Having been caught up in a self-stirred media storm, Bairstow’s redemptive joy was evident. Eventually, he perished to Shami.

Subsequently, Morgan top-edged a hook off Shami, who bowled some niggardly overs, got caned in the slog and still managed a five-for. Root and Stokes bided their time and the latter dug into Chahal, pulling and reverse-hitting. The southpaw and Root added 70 for the fourth wicket before Shami scalped the former. In the end, the audacity of Stokes and Jos Buttler’s cameo ensured that the 300-mark was breached and India had a mountain to scale.


Jason Roy c sub b Kuldeep 66 (57b, 7x4, 2x6), Jonny Bairstow c Pant b Shami 111 (109b, 10x4, 6x6), Joe Root c Pandya b Shami 44 (54b, 2x4), Eoin Morgan c Jadhav b Shami 1 (9b), Ben Stokes c sub b Bumrah 79 (54b, 6x4, 3x6), Jos Buttler c & b Shami 20 (8b, 1x4, 2x6), Chris Woakes c Rohit b Shami 7 (5b, 1x4), Liam Plunkett (not out) 1 (4b), Jofra Archer (not out) 0 (0b); Extras (b-2, lb-2, w-4): 8; Total (for seven wkts. in 50 overs): 337.

1-160 (Roy, 22.1 overs), 2-205 (Bairstow, 31.4), 3-207 (Morgan, 33.4), 4-277 (Root, 44.1), 5-310 (Buttler, 46.6), 6-319 (Woakes, 48.1), 7-337 (Stokes, 49.4).

Shami 10-1-69-5, Bumrah 10-1-44-1, Chahal 10-0-88-0, Pandya 10-0-60-0, Kuldeep 10-0-72-1.

K.L. Rahul c & b Woakes 0 (9b), Rohit Sharma c Buttler b Woakes 102 (109b, 15x4), Virat Kohli c sub b Plunkett 66 (76b, 7x4), Rishabh Pant c Woakes b Plunkett 32 (29b, 4x4), Hardik Pandya c sub b Plunkett 45 (33b, 4x4), M.S. Dhoni (not out) 42 (31b, 4x4, 1x6), Kedar Jadhav (not out) 12 (13b, 1x4); Extras (lb-1, w-6): 7; Total (for five wkts. in 50 overs): 306.

1-8 (Rahul, 2.3), 2-146 (Kohli, 28.2), 3-198 (Rohit, 36.1), 4-226 (Pant, 39.1), 5-267 (Pandya, 44.5).

Woakes 10-3-58-2, Archer 10-0-45-0, Plunkett 10-0-55-3, Wood 10-0-73-0, Rashid 6-0-40-0, Stokes 4-0-34-0.

Toss: England.

Man-of-the-Match: Bairstow.

England won by 31 runs.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 6:27:41 AM |

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