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India thrash England to maintain unbeaten run



Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami breathed fire in magical opening spells after Rohit Sharma's rearguard 87 on a challenging pitch as hammered England by 100 runs for their six straight win in the Cup, in Lucknow, on Sunday.
The emphatic victory would not have been possible without the special effort of skipper Rohit (87 off 101 balls), whose sublime knock stood out as most Indian batters fell by the wayside on a two-paced pitch. Suryakumar Yadav (49) got the much-needed runs in the death overs to push India to 229 for 9.
Shami (4/22) and Bumrah (3/32) stole the show with the ball for the unstoppable hosts as England's batters once again cut a sorry figure, slumping to 129 all out in 34.5 overs for their fifth defeat in six games. Rohit Sharma scored 87 off 101 balls to give India a fighting total England are virtually out of semi-final contention, while India, the only unbeaten side in the tournament, are almost there.
Having put up a below par total, India needed early wickets to put pressure on a struggling England batting unit. Bumrah and Shami hunted in tandem to deal decisive blows, leaving England reeling at 39 for 4 in the 10th over. Play and miss was a regular feature of the powerplay as both Bumrah and Shami troubled the batters with a Test match length. Bumrah got rid of Dawid Malan (16) and Joe Root (0) off successive balls to be on a hat-trick, while Shami also did the same by castling Jonny Bairstow (14) and Ben Stokes (0), who had a moment of brain fade after being beaten multiples time.
Jasprit Bumrah celebrates after dismissing Joe Root leg before wicket. Stokes wanted to make room to smash Shami out of the park but got himself in a nothing position and saw his stumps rattled. Bumrah and Shami's first spell figures read an envious 5-1-17-2 and 4-0-5-2 respectively. Kuldeep Yadav made it 52 for 5 by dismissing skipper Jos Buttler (10) with a stunning ball that pitched way outside the off-stump and turned back sharply to crash into the stumps.
Shami came back into the attack and had Moeen Ali (15) caught behind for his third wicket. At 81 for six, there was no coming back for a clueless England. There was plenty of dew on the park in the evening but it wasn't an issue for India's bowlers.
Earlier, India were put in to bat for the first time in the tournament and the batters got a good opportunity to set the target. However, only Rohit (87 off 101) and Suryakumar Yadav (49 off 47) found a way out on a two-paced wicket while the others perished trying to force the pace.
The 91-run partnership between Rohit and K L Rahul (39 off 58) stabilised the innings after India were reduced to 40 for 3 in the 12th over. Rohit also added 33 valuable runs with Suryakumar, but the skipper's fall led to a clutch of wickets. In his second game of the tournament, Suryakumar then batted around the tail to get the team some much-needed runs in the death overs.
England were finally able to put together an effort worthy of defending champions, excelling both with the ball and in the field.
Chris Woakes (2/33) impressed in his seven-over spell with the new ball while leggie Adil Rashid (2/35) continued to collect wickets in the middle overs. David Willey (3/45) too was effective.
David Willey celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Virat Kohli
Application was going to be the key on the relaid red soil pitch and Rohit put up a masterclass. After consuming six dot balls in the first over of the game bowled by Willey, the India skipper released the pressure by smashing the left-arm pacer for a couple of sixes and a four in his following over. Virat Kohli walks back dejected after being dismissed for a duck for the first time in an ODI World Cup.
Rohit used the feet against the pacers and spinners to manufacture the boundaries but the likes of Virat Kohli (0 off 9 balls) and Shreyas Iyer (4 off 16) departed while searching for that pressure release shot. It was a rare duck for Kohli, who tried to step out like Rohit only to mistime his shot to Ben Stokes at mid-off.
Shreyas was sent back by Woakes off a perfectly-placed short of length ball that got big on the India number four. Clearly, Shreyas needs to fight the demon in his head to improve his short ball play.
Woakes had struggled for accuracy thus far in World Cup but delivered on Sunday.
With three batters dismissed for 40, the onus was on Rohit to take the innings forward and he did with a lot of class. After stepping out the fast bowlers, Rohit displayed his artistry against the spin trio of Rashid, Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali.
He swept Rashid, reverse-swept Livingstone and came down the track to loft Moeen over mid-off for three of the 10 fours he struck. His pick-up shot off Mark Wood that went all the way was also sublime.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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