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ICC World Cup 2019 | Bairstow Ton Helps England Beat India and Inch Closer to Semi-finals

Cricketnext Staff |July 1, 2019, 7:13 AM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | Bairstow Ton Helps England Beat India and Inch Closer to Semi-finals

Jonny Bairstow's solid century, combined with dazzling fifties from Jason Roy and Ben Stokes gave England a crucial 31-run victory over India in a high-octane 2019 World Cup encounter at Edgbaston on Sunday (June 30). With this win, the hosts now just need to win their remaining game against New Zealand to confirm their spot in the semifinals.

A 109-ball 111 from Bairstow and half-centuries from Roy (57-ball 66) and Stokes (54-ball 79) helped England post 337 for 7, although a five-wicket haul from Mohammed Shami ensured India were not batted out of the game.

In reply, Rohit Sharma (109-ball 102) and Virat Kohli (76-ball 66) added 138 runs but both batsmen were dismissed at the wrong time for India. England bowlers then bowled with a plan and never allowed the Indian middle-order to get going. There was not enough intent from MS Dhoni and Co in the last few overs as India were restricted to 306 for 5 in their 50 overs.

Chasing a big total, India needed a good start from KL Rahul and Rohit but it was never going to be easy against Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer. The latter would have had Rohit in the second over if Joe Root wouldn't have dropped a simple chance at second slip. Rahul never looked comfortable during his stay and was eventually brilliantly caught and bowled for nought by Chris Woakes.

The onus was once again on Rohit and Kohli to stand up and the two top batsmen in ICC ODI rankings didn't disappoint. Both batsmen took their time at the start and didn't bother too much about the required run-rate. Kohli and Rohit smartly went about their business and targetted Mark Wood, Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid.

Just when the two started to up the ante, Kohli hit Liam Plunkett's delivery straight into the hands of the fielder at point. This was now the fifth time Indian skipper has failed to convert a fifty into a ton in this World Cup. India still needed 191 runs and out came Rishabh Pant, playing his first game of the tournament.

Pant survived a couple of close run-out calls and it took him some deliveries to calm his nerves. In the process, Rohit brought up his 25th ODI ton in the 35th over. With 150 needed in 15 overs, Pant started playing his shots and managed a couple of boundaries but Rohit couldn't get going and was caught behind off a slower delivery from Woakes.

The required rate kept going up and Pant and Hardik Pandya had no other options but to go after every bowler. The latter slammed Woakes for three consecutive boundaries in the 39th over and got things moving for India. The two added 28 runs in no time before Plunkett (3 for 55) returned to get rid of Pant for 29-ball 32, brilliantly caught by Woakes at deep backward square leg.

India desperately needed the craziness and calmness of Pandya and Dhoni in the final 10 overs but England bowlers bowled according to the plan and kept both these batsmen in check. Pandya tried his best but Plunkett had him caught at long on for 33-ball 45. England bowlers kept bowling short to Dhoni (31-ball 42*) and Kedar Jadhav with four men on the leg side and didn't give them a chance to get any way near that total.

Earlier, England got what they wanted going into a big game - a flat pitch, and luck with the coin toss allowing them to bat first without pressure. It showed in the freedom with which Bairstow and Roy batted to put together a 160-run stand in just 22.1 overs.

The initial phase was a test of their temperament and technique. Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah bowled probing spells, with the former in particular unlucky not to strike despite finding the edge multiple times. Bairstow had two inside edges to the fine-leg boundary, apart from being beaten numerous times.

Roy had some luck going his way too when India didn't review a caught-behind appeal off Pandya when the batsman was on 21. Roy kicked on from there, slamming the next two balls for a four and a six, setting the tone for an assault.

With Bairstow also joining in, England raced past 100 in the 16th over, from 47 for no loss in the first 10. Both batsmen went past their half-centuries, and England seemed set for a massive score with the duo adding 160 in 22.

A stunning catch from Ravindra Jadeja, running in from long-on before diving forward, broke the opening partnership to send Roy back. Bairstow played a few reverse sweeps to target the shorter boundary off Kuldeep Yadav to get past his century. India, though, pulled things back well in the middle courtesy a brilliant second spell from Shami.

The pacer's second spell read 3-1-3-2, accounting for the wickets of Bairstow and Eoin Morgan. With Kuldeep Yadav and Hardik Pandya too bowling tidily, England struggled for rhythm, scoring no boundaries between overs 28 and 37. The momentum was pulled back as they scored only 36 runs in a 12-over period, Joe Root steadying the ship.

However, Stokes continued his superb form at one end, targeting Yuzvendra Chahal who ended with the worst figures for an Indian in World Cups (10-0-88-0). It included an audacious reverse sweep that sailed over the sweeper cover boundary. India's spinners had a forgettable day, with Chahal conceding 88 in 10 wicketless and Kuldeep giving 72 runs for one wicket.

Jos Buttler played a cameo (20 off 8) but it was Stokes who kept England going in the death even as Shami bagged a couple of wickets, benefiting from the pressure created by Bumrah. Stokes kept the boundaries coming, targeting the right balls and angles to ensure England got 92 runs in the last 10. The hosts could have ended with something over 350 but Bumrah's fantastic final spell restricted them.

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more