Twitter Reactions: England beat the unbeaten India in Birmingham to revive their World Cup hopes

Twitter Reactions: England beat the unbeaten India in Birmingham to revive their World Cup hopes

Eventually, the opening partnership between Roy and Bairstow made the difference.

England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

England still have their fortunes in their hand in terms of qualifying for the semi-finals. They defeated unbeaten India by 31 runs in a high-scoring encounter at Edgbaston in Birmingham and were clearly a better side on the day. The credit should go to their openers who set the foundation at the top and despite slowing down later, they had enough runs on the board. India were in the chase almost until the 44th over but Hardik Pandya’s wicket ended their hopes.

India lost KL Rahul for a nine-ball duck in the chase even as Chris Woakes started splendidly bowling three maidens. Rohit Sharma struggled immensely to start off with while Virat Kohli also took time to get in. Rather, Woakes and Jofra Archer were superb with the ball as they conceded only 28 runs in the first 10 overs.

However, the runs started to come at pace after the first powerplay. Kohli got into his elements and played some classical cover drives to leave the jam-packed crowd in his awe. Rohit struggled and struggled. He played a couple of ugly shots as well but got away with it. Soon though the runs flew from his bat as well.

Kohli’s wicket turns the game

The partnership went past the 100-run mark and suddenly there were worrying faces in the England camp. Rohit scored around five boundaries his six deliveries to race past 70 then which forced Eoin Morgan to bring Archer back into the attack. However, the wicket came from the other end in unlikeliest of way. Virat Kohli, batting on 66, sliced the wide ball into the hands of the backward point fielder which brought England ahead in the game again.

The 138-run partnership was finally broken and the breakthrough brought a couple of quiet overs which took the required run-rate past 9. Rishabh Pant came out to bat at four and though things slowed down a bit, Rohit looked calm with things under his control. He also notched up his third century of this World Cup and the 25th of his ODI career but soon got out to Chris Woakes in the 37th over of the innings.

He was set to unleash himself but misjudged the slower delivery from Woakes and edged to Jos Buttler who pouched it safely. Hardik Pandya was promoted with the required run-rate almost over 10 and added 28 runs along with Pant to the total in three overs. Just when Pant was looking dangerous, Liam Plunkett got his better and once again, it was the fielding which turned the game. The ball looked set to go to the boundary but Chris Woakes timed his leap perfectly to hold on to the catch.

The youngster was decent in his debut World Cup scoring 32 off 29 balls but left his team in a little hole. India were then left to get 104 runs off the last 10 overs with MS Dhoni and a set Pandya in the middle. But the England bowlers used their variations well to keep a lid on Pandya and though the former Indian captain got a couple of boundaries the required run-rate kept piling on. The pressure got to Pandya and he eventually played a lofted shot as India needed 71 off the last five overs.

England kept bowling well and even though Kedar Jadhav and Dhoni tried to hit boundaries, the shots didn’t come off. They eventually fell short of the target by 31 runs as after Pandya’s wicket, India never looked like chasing down the total.

Bairstow, Roy and Stokes propel England

After opting to bat first, England got their confidence back with Jason Roy’s return. The opening partnership between him and Jonny Bairstow was up and running quite soon. While they respected Jasprit Bumrah in his first spell, the rest of the bowlers had to face the duo’s wrath. Yuzvendra Chahal was brought early into the attack and soon Roy started to open up.

Once Bumrah’s four-over spell was done and dusted, both the batsmen got going. England were 47/0 after 10 overs and crossed the 100-run mark in the 16th over itself which clearly tells how they batted. Roy and Bairstow took a special liking to India’s wrist spinners who have been their trump cards right through the tournament. They added 160 runs for the first wicket and finally, it was Kuldeep Yadav who provided the breakthrough.

Rather the credit should go to Ravindra Jadeja who caught the flat batted stroke from Roy superbly. This is where India found an opening and tied up England. Jonny Bairstow got to his century but looked rusty and got out to Mohammed Shami soon after reaching the three-figure score. Eoin Morgan’s issues with the bat continued with India tightening noose.

However, Ben Stokes, after taking his time early on, played some outrageous strokes. Joe Root looked good but tried to play a cheeky stroke and got out. But that didn’t deter Stokes who literally looked in completely different touch on the day. He attacked Chahal and played aridiculous reverse hit for a six off him. Shami came back for his final spell to return with a sensational five-wicket haul.

However, he conceded a lot in the death overs and couldn’t back up Jasprit Bumrah who was literally unplayable. Stokes made the most of him missing his lines and scored 79 off just 54 deliveries. In the end, England got to 337 runs for the loss of seven wickets after 50 overs with Shami finishing with the figures of 5/69 while Bumrah returned with 1/44.

However, the score was a little too much for India in the end and their intent in the last few overs will be questioned with again MS Dhoni at the center stage of it.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: