October 30, 2023
NEW DELHI – England’s hopes of defending the ICC ODI World Cup title hit another roadblock after suffering a humiliating 100-run defeat to a rampaging India, who managed to maintain their unbeaten run in the tournament. Meanwhile, this was England’s fifth loss in six outings, virtually ruling out chances of making it to the knockout stages.
Chasing a below-par total of 230, England lost their plot early on with India’s gun opening bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami cleaning up the top order before the left-arm spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja dashed any chances of a comeback.
Bumrah spoilt England’s decent 30-run opening start, by getting rid of Dawid Malan (16) and Joe Root (0) off consecutive balls at the end of his third over to put the breaks. Shami then joined the party by dismissing Ben Stokes for a duck and Jonny Bairstow (14) in his first two overs.
Kuldeep Yadav then cleaned up skipper Jos Buttler (10) with a jaffa before Shami cut short Moeen Ali’s (15) brief stay on the first ball of his returning spell.
Tottering at 81 for 6, England desperately needed some solidity and once Liam Livingstone departed for a 46-ball 27 after being trapped plump, their hopes relied on the tail. However, Jadeja threw cold water on their plans sending back Chris Woakes (10) before the pacers cleaned up the tail to limit the visitors for ..
Earlier, India had to get through 57 deliveries with their tail exposed and Bumrah made sure they batted the full 50 overs with an innings of 16 off 25. But on a pitch conducive for spin bowling, it was skipper Rohit Sharma’s masterclass that got India off to some respectability after having lost the top three for 40 runs.
On a two-paced pitch at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow, Rohit came up with a blistering 87 off 101 deliveries, powered by 10 fours and three sixes, to hold it all together for India after the in-form Virat Kohli fell for a duck for the first time in a World Cup match. Shubman Gill (9) and Shreyas Iyer (4) also added to India’s casualties early on.
Reduced to 40 for 3, KL Rahul looked in sublime touch and played the perfect second fiddle to his skipper to stage India’s recovery. Rohit did the bulk of the scoring in the partnership and in the process, he crossed 18,000 international runs and scored another half-century as well.
The stand ended on 91 with Rahul falling to David Willey in the 31st over. Later, Suryakumar Yadav came in and put up 33 for the fifth wicket with Rohit but the latter fell 13 shy of yet another World Cup century.
Ravindra Jadeja left soon thereafter and SKY was left to try and provide India with a good finish while batting with the long tail. He did it to a certain extent but Suryakumar ended up falling one run short of a half-century. Bumrah and Kuldeep then got India to within a run of 230.
England came into this game with just one win in five games. But everything they did today was top draw. Chris Woakes (2/33) and David Willey (3/45) piled on dot-ball pressure in the powerplay. Buttler’s use of his spinners, specifically Adil Rashid (2/35), was near perfect. He was the one who took out Rohit, and Ravindra Jadeja too, to open up India’s tail and drag them down from a potential 260.
The Indian team sported black armbands as a tribute to their legendary former captain Bishan Singh Bedi, who passed away earlier this week.