Captain Rohit Sharma top-scored for India with 87 from 101 balls on a two-paced pitch while Suryakumar Yadav made a crucial 49 at the back-end as the hosts huffed and puffed to post 229/9 against England in their Men’s ODI World Cup clash at the BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Pushed into batting first on a pitch which gave bowlers some help, India were 40/3 inside 12 overs before Rohit pulled them out of trouble and held the innings together with a knock laced with ten fours and three sixes, while adding 91 runs for the fourth wicket with K.L. Rahul.
After the duo fell, Suryakumar Yadav hit four boundaries and a six to get India to a respectable total which looked difficult at one point. For England, who were tight in their fielding and built dot-ball pressure in the first Power-play, David Willey stood out with 3-45 while Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid took two scalps each in a top bowling performance.
Rohit was kept quiet in the opening over as Willey began with a maiden. But in the left-arm pacer’s second over, Rohit got off the mark with a four clearing mid-on and nailed the pull as well as loft down the ground for a brace of sixes, taking 18 runs off the third over.
England got a breakthrough in the fourth over when Woakes castled Shubman Gill with a nip-backer through the gate. With the bowlers getting some seam movement on a two-paced pitch, England put Virat Kohli under sustained dot-ball pressure and that resulted in the talismanic batter mistiming a drive on the up to mid-off, making it his first duck in World Cups.
With no respite on offer, more trouble followed India as Woakes rushed Shreyas Iyer for pace on a short ball, cramping him for room and the batter could only give a top edge on pull to mid-on. Seeing the situation, Rohit dropped anchor after surviving an LBW appeal against Mark Wood.
In between, he hit some boundaries too, amongst which a drive threading through cover off Rashid was the standout, with Rohit’s sweep off the leg-spinner for four also bringing up his 18,000 runs in international cricket. After reaching his third fifty of this World Cup, Rohit signalled a shift of gears by flicking Wood off his wrists for six.
Rahul cashed on Liam Livingstone’s introduction by getting an outside edge and then sweeping a low full toss to collect a brace of fours. More runs came for India off Livingstone as Rohit reverse-swept and brought out a hard drive for back-to-back boundaries, followed by a whip over mid-wicket for another four.
The 91-run partnership came to a halt in the 31st over when Rahul tried to smash against Willey, only to mistime and give a simple catch to mid-on. Suryakumar got going with a whippy drive past mid-on for four, followed by bringing out pull and sweep to collect more boundaries. Rohit’s knock came to an end in the 39th over when he went for a slog on Rashid’s googly but holed out to deep mid-wicket.
Rashid came back to trap Ravindra Jadeja lbw and Wood returned to find Mohammed Shami’s faint bottom edge going behind Jos Buttler. Suryakumar took India past 200 with a sweep off Rashid for four, before bringing out his trademark flick going high over fine leg for six.
Suryakumar tried to carve Willey over cover but gave an easy catch to deep point in the 47th over. Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav added 21 runs for the ninth wicket while hitting a boundary each before the former was run out on the last ball of the innings to end one short of 230.
India 229/9 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma 87, Suryakumar Yadav 49; David Willey 3-45, Chris Woakes 2-33) against England