Pune: India won the 1st ODI match by 66 runs. England had to win this match to take the series result to decider or lose this match along with the series to India. England chose the first option. Though their bowlers leaked 300+ runs, batsmen didn’t disappoint English fans as they chased a 337-run target inside 44 overs. Bairstow was adjudged Man of the Match for his match-winning century.
Kohli, Rahul, Pant help India to get to 336
After being invited to bat first for the second time in the ODI series, India didn’t get a great start as both the openers were dismissed inside the powerplay. While Dhawan edged a full-length delivery to Stokes in slips, Rohit flicked a ‘hit-me’ ball straight to fine-leg to throw away a good start.
Kohli-Rahul pair ticked the scored board with regular singles and sent the bad balls to boundaries without hesitation. Once set, both batsmen have let their arms free. They’ve punished erred lines and lengths by dispatching the ball to the stands. Kohli got a life at 33 as Buttler dropped him off, Rashid. Kohli got to 66 with the help of 3 boundaries and a six. He once again edged a ball off Rashid, but Buttler didn’t make any mistake this time. With Kohli’s wicket, 121 run stand was broken.
But England had nothing to enjoy as Pant started smashing the ball for fun right from ball 1. Rahul respected good deliveries but scored runs at a reasonable rate. Pant’s destructive 77 off 40 balls that consisted of 3 boundaries and seven monstrous sixers came to an end as he sliced a ball straight to the third man trying to go over the fielder. But Pant made sure he did the damage before leaving the crease. New entrant Hardik has also sent the ball out of the park four times and got dismissed on the innings’ penultimate ball, trying to hit a slow bouncer straight over the bowler as he found long-off in the course.
Topley and Tom picked two wickets each while Sam and Adil shared wicket-a-piece.
Bairstow, Stokes throw India out of the contest in no time
England had mammoth 337 runs to chase in front of them. Inform Bhuvi and Prasidh were ready to share the new ball. English openers were cautious during early overs. The onslaught started with Roy hitting a straight drive off Prasidh in the fourth over. From there, there was no seeing back for the English team. England raced to 59/0 in PP. Both the openers were competing to hit boundaries. Krunal, Kuldeep failed to control the innings in the middle overs. They were punished brutally by English batsmen. Rohit’s brilliance in the field saw Roy’s end, but Stokes made sure India’s joy didn’t last long. Bairstow reached his century by smashing a six off Kuldeep in the 31st over. Stokes marauded Krunal as he hit 28 runs off him. He quickly raced onto 99 but fell short of his century by one run as he was rushed by Bhuvaneshwar’s pace and edged a ball to the keeper, trying to pull it. His 99 off 52 deliveries has put England in the driver’s seat.
Two quick wickets from there ignited little hopes in the Indian camp, but Livingstone has hit two sixes in 2 balls off Bhuvi to nullify India’s chances of winning the match. England sealed the victory in 44 overs with six wickets to spare.
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