England v India at Edgbaston Match 38

Neil Whitaker reports

JASON Roy passed a fitness test and paved the way for England’s 31 run victory over India at Edgbaston to leapfrog Pakistan and keep their semi final hopes alive.

Captain Eoin Morgan said: “I am delighted with manor in which we played and the way we batted was outstanding. It’s come at the right time against a strong team.  I thought that Jonny Bairstow was outstanding.”

Morgan won the toss and decided to bat but the course of the match changed in the 11th  over of their innings. Roy on 21 drilled Hardik Pandya over long off for a six and almost repeated the shot next ball which went just wide off Jasprit Bumrah at mid off and went for a four.  The ball before Roy hit the six the Indians went up for a catch down the legside but the umpire called a wide. If they had reviewed it they would have got a wicket because the replay showed he had gloved it.

Rohit Sharma said: “Some of the players were saying they heard something but others were saying they hadn’t heard anything so it’s not right to expect the captain to make the right decision whether we should take the review.”

The indecision of Virat Kohli in not going for a review not gave confidence not only  to Roy but also to Jonny Bairstow. Bairstow started his innings very nervously, he twice got inside edges to Mohammed Shami that ran to the boundary. Both Roy and Bairstow targeted to the Indian spin twins Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Chahal first six overs cost him 51 runs while  Kuldeep‘ s first four overs cost him 46 runs.

Leg spinner Chahal came into the attack after five overs which allowed Bumrah to change to the pavilion end.  Roy dragged Chahal from way outside off stump to the mid wicket boundary. Roy drilled Chahal to short extra cover where Kohli got an hand to it but he  parried it out of his reach.

Roy brought his fifty up off 41 balls with seven fours and a six.  He went down the wicket to Kuldeep and launched him for a huge straight six.  Bairstow pulled Chahal over long on just clearing KL Rahul at long on for a six to bring not only his fifty from 56 balls but also the hundred partnership with Roy as Kohli had no idea of how to stem the England runs.

Morgan added: “We wanted to put them under as much pressure as possible.  The period in which they bowled was the difference between the teams because we scored 90 runs.  When the seamers bowled the ball wasn’t coming on to the bat.”

The partnership was broken when Roy went for another straight big hit off Kuldeep but found the substitute fielder Jadeja who took a great catch diving forward and taking the ball inches from the ground.

After the departure of Roy, Bairstow went on the back foot as the boundaries dried up at the other end as Joe Root was happy to rotate the strike to Bairstow.  Bairstow did go for runs but wasn’t as fluent, he swept Kuldeep for a huge six over square leg into the Hollies stand. He reached his eighth ODI century from 90 balls with eight fours and six sixes. He twice reversed swept Kuldeep for boundaries in the same over.

Bairstow became the first of Shami’s five victims. Shami became the second bowler to take consecutive four fer’s in the World Cup joining Shaid Afridi.  The longer that Root didn’t hit a boundary Bairstow got more frustrated resulting in his dismissal. He got an outside edge to slash off Shami and found Pant on the point boundary.

Two overs later Shami got his second wicket when he bowled a bouncer to Morgan who dragged it from well outside his off stump and Jadhav took a diving catch at fine leg. Shami had taken two wickets  for three runs.

Ben Stokes was the only other England batsman who went after India’s bowlers. When he reversed swept Chahal to the third man boundary in the 38th over it was England’s first boundary for 10 overs.  In Chahal’s next over Stokes switched hit him over the cover boundary for a six, earlier in the over Stokes pulled him to the square leg boundary just beating Shami.

Stokes took a liking to Chahal and danced down the wicket to him and hit him for a massive six over mid wicket to bring up the fifty partnership with Root. Chahal’s 10 overs cost him 88 runs his most expensive figures in ODI cricket.

Shami got his fourth wicket with the first ball when he was brought back into the attack and broke the Stokes/ Root partnership when Root scooped him to Hardik at fine leg who took a knee high catch.

Jos Buttler got off the mark with an effortless six off Shami’s slower ball over mid wicket he also deposited a low full toss from Shami over long off for another six.

Stokes drove Shami straight back over his head but Hardik at long on couldn’t quite make the catch despite a valiant attempt.  After been hit for 17 Shami ended the over with Buttler’s wicket when Buttler top edged a pull and the ball went high and Shami took the  catch at the second attempt.

Chris Woakes job was to get Stokes on strike but in their partnership of 10, Woakes made seven of them before he pulled Shami to Rohit Sharma on the square leg boundary.  Stokes was the last man out in the last over when he chipped a low full toss from Bumrah to Jadeja at fine leg.

In India’s chase England had the chance to get rid of Rohit in the second over when he played a loose shot to Jofra Archer to give Root at second slip an easy chance but he dropped it. Rohit went to score another 98 runs.

Woakes did make the breakthrough in his second over when KL Rahul tried to turn him off his legs but got a leading edge and Woakes took the return catch in his follow through.

Woakes became the first England bowler since James Anderson in 2003 to bowl three maidens before conceding a run in an ODI.

Kohli had enough of Woakes being in charge, in his fifth ove Kohli charged him and thrashed him to the extra cover boundary.  He reached his fifty with a cover drive of Stokes for a couple after he had whipped the previous ball to the mid wicket boundary. He became the second player to hit five consecutive fifties in the World Cup.

Those shots by Kohli gave impetus to the India innings. He drove Adil Rashid to the cover boundary but the ball teased substitute James Vince before crossing the line.

Rohit cut Rashid through the covers with a wristy shot, that shot kick started his innings in the next he drove Stokes beautifully to the cover boundary. He reached his fifty with a dismissive boundary through the covers of Rashid.

Three consecutive boundaries by Rohit off Stokes, two through the covers and the other behind square took him past Kohli. He swept Rashid to the square leg boundary. Now we had a match.

Liam Plunkett came on for his second spell and broke the partnership and also the hearts of India fans, with his third ball when Kohli edged a drive off him to substitute James Vince at point who took a low catch.

Rohit cut Mark Wood to the third man boundary and lofted the next ball to the long on boundary.  He late cut Plunkett to third man for a couple to bring up his century from 106 balls. His third century of the tournament 15 fours. Rohit tried to pull Woakes to the short boundary but nicked it to Buttler.

Hardik hit 16 off Woakes’s seventh over with three fours and a couple of two’s to keep their hopes alive.  But with 71 needed from 31 balls Hardik drove Plunkett hoping for India’s first six of the chase but instead found Vince on the long on boundary.

Pant clipped Plunkett off his legs and it looked for all money that it would be a six, but Woakes ran 15 yards before diving for the ball. Morgan added: “Woakes is a valuable player for us, his bowling was disciplined.”

Rohit added: “Losing an early wicket put us under pressure.  They bowled well in the first 10 overs. It was important for us that they guys who are in form should bat as long as possible.  We knew that they longer we batted the closer we would get to the target. But we have to give credit to their bowlers because they mixed their variations and kept us guessing.

Their top order likes to put pressure on the bowlers and they didn’t let them settle down. For Chahal and Kuldeep it was an off day because they have put pressure on teams before.

Chasing 340 you breed someone with these X factor which Stokes did for them and changed the game until then we right in the game.”


July 2, 2019 9:21 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *