India suffered a setback to its uninterrupted winning of matches in World Cup 2019 as it was defeated by English, last evening, the first defeat for it in these matches.
India finished on 306/5 as England registered a 31-run win, their first over India in 27 years in World Cups. The win saw England stay alive with a chance to qualify for the semi-final stages as Rohit Sharmas 102 went in vain.
The stage was set for a vintage M.S. Dhoni finish as India needed 104 off the last 10 overs with the former India skipper just in and warming up at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground on Sunday. But his attempt to take the game deep saw India left with 57 needed off the last 18 balls.
Chasing 338 for a win was never going to be easy, especially when India lost opener K.L. Rahul for a duck with the score on 8. But with skipper Virat Kohli joining the in-form Rohit Sharma in the middle, it was all about buying time in the middle as they blunted the English attack with their perfect mix of caution and aggression. While they sent every bad ball to the boundary, they looked to pick the ones and twos when the England bowlers bowled a tight line.
It all looked hunky dory as Kohli and Rohit cruised to their respective fifties – Kohli’s fifth in a row – till Liam Plunkett dismissed the India skipper against the run of play in the 29th over for a 76-ball 66. Pitching on the fifth stump, the bowler induced the wide drive and James Vince – substitute for Jason Roy — picked a diving catch. The 138-run partnership coming to an abrupt end.
With the score reading 146/2, Rishabh Pant walked in to join Rohit. While Pant looked anxious to start with, a lot of counselling from Rohit finally saw him settle down, but Rohit was the next one to throw his wicket away after doing all the hard work and reaching his 25th ODI hundred as he went for a wild hoick off Chris Woakes. The score read 198/3 with 140 needed off 13.5 overs.
Hardik Pandya joined Pant and the two did put on some display as they looked to take the attack to the English bowlers, but one shot too many finally saw Pant (32) perish as Woakes picked a blinder at the long leg boundary.