Edgbaston [UK]: In a must-win match, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes played knocks of 111 and 79 runs respectively to allow England to post a score of 337 runs for the loss of seven wickets in the allotted fifty overs against India in the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
After opting to bat first, England openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow provided an exceptional start to the hosts. The duo played cautiously in the first five overs, but once both the batsmen got their eyes in, they started to hammer the India bowlers to all around the park.
Roy and Bairstow did not let any bowler settle on the crease and they took a special liking to the spinners. The duo went on to a stitch a partnership of 160 runs, which saw both Roy and Bairstow bringing up their respective half-centuries. India finally got their much-needed breakthrough in the 23rd over as Kuldeep Yadav sent Roy (66) back to the pavilion, reducing England to 160/1.
Bairstow registered his first World Cup century in the 26th over of the England innings. But after reaching this landmark, the batsman slowed down, and this took a toll on Bairstow (111) as he was dismissed by Mohammed Shami in the 32nd over. Skipper Eoin Morgan (1) once again failed to leave a mark, as he was sent back to the pavilion by Mohammad Shami. Shami bowled a short ball and Morgan was not able to control the pull shot, reducing England to 207/3 in the 34th over.
Joe Root and Ben Stokes then took the honours upon themselves and the latter looked in fierce form as he kept on smashing Indian bowlers for regular boundaries in the death overs. The duo stitched together a partnership of 70 runs, but Shami once again provided India with the crucial breakthrough as he dismissed Root (44) in the 45th over.
Stokes brought up his half-century in the 45th over, and as a result, he brought up his third consecutive fifty-plus score in the tournament. Buttler played a cameo of 20 runs off just eight balls to take the England score past 300-mark with three overs still left. Buttler was sent back to the pavilion by Shami.
Shami sent Woakes (7) back to the pavilion in the penultimate over and this wicket marked his five-wicket haul in the match. However, Stokes kept on playing in his attacking style and he ensured England goes past the 330-run mark.
Bairstow was the top-scorer for England as he played a knock of 111 runs whereas Shami took the maximum wickets for India as he scalped three England batsmen. This is the third consecutive match, in which Shami has taken four wickets in an innings. Shami has now moved to the fifth spot in the leading wicket-takers standings in this World Cup. The bowler has 13 wickets in just three matches.
Yuzvendra Chahal conceded 88 runs from his ten overs and as a result, he completed his most expensive bowling spell in ODIs.