India’s Unbeaten Run Continues

In their initial attempt to set a total in the tournament, India managed to score 229/9 on a challenging, two-paced pitch…reports Asian Lite News

Due to its famous rulers the Nawabs, Lucknow was given the moniker of being the ‘City of Nawabs’. On Sunday, India came out at the BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium in front of 46,000 fans and played like kings, after being in trouble at one point, to thrash England by 100 runs and maintain their unbeaten run in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup.

Put into setting up a total for the first time in the competition, India could only make 229/9 on a tricky, two-paced pitch. Captain Rohit Sharma top-scored with 87 from 101 balls and stood tall even as other batters fell around him in a bid to go big.

Rohit held the innings together with a gritty knock laced with 10 fours and three sixes on a tough pitch while adding 91 runs for the fourth wicket with KL Rahul. Suryakumar Yadav made a crucial 49 in the back end for India to go above 200, which was initially deemed as a below-par total.

England had scored 30 runs off their first 27 balls in their chase, but after that, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, along with Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav, blew England away with a fantastic show of accuracy to skittle the listless defending champions for 129 in 34.5 overs.

While Shami took 4-22, Bumrah was superb in 3-32. Kuldeep was great in 2-24 while Jadeja took 1-16 as India went on top of the table with 12 points. England lost their fifth match in a row and are now staring firmly at the exit door.

It was the second successive batting capitulation for them after being bowled out for 156 by Sri Lanka, and against India, only Liam Livingstone would cross 20 in yet another sorry show with the bat after bowlers and fielders put in an electrifying performance.

Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow got going in the chase of 230 by hitting five boundaries in 4.3 overs before the script took a dramatic turn. In an attempt to cut Bumrah through the off-side, Malan could only get an inside edge shattering his stumps. The fans’ voice grew louder on the very next ball as Bumrah trapped Joe Root plumb lbw with a skiddy delivery which kept low, with the batter burning a review.

Relentless bowling from the Indian bowlers, where they beat the edges of the batters consistently, resulted in Ben Stokes trying to smash Shami down the ground but was castled. There was no end to England’s trouble as Jonny Bairstow got an inside edge on the pads while trying to cut off Shami and the ball rolled onto the stumps.

England’s hopes continued to slide as Kuldeep got a tossed-up delivery to turn a mile and got some grip off the pitch to leave Buttler’s stumps in tatters. Shami came back in the 24th over and immediately struck on the first ball by having Moeen Ali nick behind to Rahul.

Though dew came around, there was no stopping England’s slide. Jadeja had Woakes stumped easily while Kuldeep trapped Livingstone plumb lbw through a googly. Rashid and Willey tried delaying the inevitable, but Shami took the former out by castling him through the gate and Bumrah castled Wood to bring England’s misery to an end.

Earlier, Rohit was kept quiet in the opening over as David Willey began with a maiden. But in the left-arm pacer’s second over, Rohit got off the mark with a four clearing mid-on and nailed the pull as well as loft down the ground for a brace of sixes, taking 18 runs off the third over.

England got a breakthrough in the fourth over when Chris Woakes castled Shubman Gill with a nip-backer through the gate. With the bowlers getting some seam movement on a two-paced pitch, England put Virat Kohli under sustained dot-ball pressure and that resulted in the talismanic batter mistiming a drive on the up to mid-off, making it his first duck in World Cups.

With no respite on offer, more trouble followed India as Woakes rushed Shreyas Iyer for pace on a short ball cramping him for room and the batter could only give a top edge on pull to mid-on. Seeing the situation, Rohit dropped anchor after surviving an lbw appeal against Mark Wood.

In between, he hit some boundaries too, amongst which a drive threading through cover off Adil Rashid was the standout, with Rohit’s sweep off the leg-spinner for four also bringing up his 18,000 runs in international cricket. After reaching his third fifty of this World Cup, Rohit signalled a shift of gears by flicking Wood off his wrists for six.

Rahul cashed on Liam Livingstone’s introduction by getting an outside edge and then sweeping a low full toss to collect a brace of fours. More runs came for India off Livingstone as Rohit reverse-swept and brought out hard drive for back-to-back boundaries, followed by a whip over mid-wicket for another four.

The 91-run partnership came to a halt in the 31st over when Rahul tried to smash against Willey, only to mistime and give a simple catch to mid-on. Suryakumar got going with a whippy drive past mid-on for four, followed by bringing out pull and sweep to collect more boundaries. Rohit’s knock came to an end in the 39th over when he went for a slog on Rashid’s googly but holed out to deep mid-wicket.

Rashid came back to trap Jadeja lbw and Wood returned to find Shami’s faint bottom edge going behind to Jos Buttler. Suryakumar took India past 200 with a sweep off Rashid for four, before bringing out his trademark flick going high over fine leg for six.

Suryakumar tried to carve Willey over cover but gave an easy catch to deep point in the 47th over. Bumrah and Kuldeep added 21 runs for the ninth wicket while hitting a boundary each before the former was run out on the last ball of the innings to end one short of 230.

Brief scores:

India 229/9 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma 87, Suryakumar Yadav 49; David Willey 3-45, Chris Woakes 2-33) beat England 129 all out in 34.5 overs (Liam Livingstone 27, Dawid Malan 6; Mohammed Shami 4-22, Jasprit Bumrah 3-32) by 100 runs

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