In a much anticipated match of the ongoing ICC World Cup, on Sunday, 30th June, where England needed a desperate win to keep their chances alive and India delivering it accordingly to the hosts. With the unbeaten record, India looked lethal to the English gameplay, but Indian team’s laidback game, gave away a discreet chance to England as they still stay in the race, whereas, Pakistan’s and Bangladesh’s chances seem suddenly faltering.
India with the ball initially, refused to attack hoping the runs to stay in control but with openers settling in, India had limited tricks to offer to stop or baffle them. Jason Roy (66 out; 57b; 7X4, 2X6) and Jonny Bairstow (111 out; 109b; 10X4, 6X6) did most of the damage with a 160 runs partnership for the first wicket. Bairstow’s ton helped England achieve the 200 mark within 30 overs while Indian bowlers failed to produce wickets and conceded plenty of runs. With both openers gone, India was looking for a comeback and Mohammed Shami scalps Joe Root (44 out; 54b; 2X4) and the struggling captain Eoin Morgan (1 out; 9b). But Ben Stokes (79 out; 54b; 6X4, 3X6) with another magnificent performance damages the score tenfold, with a little but effective game from Jos Buttler (20 out; 8b; 1X4, 2X6) took England past 300. Mohammed Shami with yet another 5-wicket haul restricts England to 337 in 50 overs but went costly with an economy rate of 6.90.
Coming to bat second, Indian batsmen had mammoth task in hand but opener K.L Rahul (0 out; 9b) succumbs without any contributions. Though Rohit Sharma (102 out; 109b; 15X4) went on to add another ton to his World Cup records but, India needed more attacks from the batting line-up in order to keep the unbeaten streak running. Captain Kohli (66 out; 76b; 7X4) and Sharma did have a good start but after Kohli’s dismissal, no.4 batsmen of the Indian line-up, Rishab Pant (32 out; 39b; 4X4) seemed a bit baffled on the pitch and contributed little compared to what was required. Even M.S Dhoni (42 not out; 31b; 4X4, 1X6) and Hardik Pandya (45 out; 33b; 4X4) didn’t give much effort as India chased down 306 short by 31 runs losing just 5 wickets and an irreverent approach to spare England a much-needed win to stay alive in the World Cup fight.