England back in business at World Cup with win over India

India's MS Dhoni, third right, watches as England players celebrate after their win in the Cricket World Cup match between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, Sunday, June 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Sports Desk:

England revitalized its Cricket World Cup campaign with a 31-run victory over previously unbeaten India on Sunday.

Eoin Morgan’s team needed this win to stay in control of its own fate at the tournament, and once India captain Virat Kohli departed for 66 it always looked likely England would prevail.

India finished on 306-5 after losing the toss and watching England amass 337-7 with a first World Cup century from Jonny Bairstow (111) and Jason Roy returning from a hamstring injury with a 57-ball 66.

Bairstow was even more brutal, ending with 10 fours and six sixes, before Roy was out to make it 160-1.

Joe Root chipped in with 44 in 54 and Ben Stokes smashed six boundaries and three sixes to lead the later charge with 79 from 54 as England, looking at a 400-plus total at one point, still managed to set India a record World Cup chase.

Not that it was always comfortable for England.

Kohli looked in typically superb form and shared a 138-run partnership with Rohit Sharma (102), who reached his century at a roughly run-a-ball rate and had hit 15 fours by that stage.

But India had been 28-1 after 10 overs — the slowest power play of the tournament so far — and it proved too heavy a weight to carry through the innings. Hardik Pandya was threatening with 45 off 33 balls but was caught by substitute fielder James Vince with around five overs left and India still needing 71 to win.

England moved back into fourth spot in the standings on 10 points, one ahead of Pakistan. England plays 2015 finalist New Zealand in its last group game at Durham on Wednesday. Two days later Pakistan plays Bangladesh at Lord’s.

India remains second with a game in hand — facing Bangladesh at Edgbaston on Tuesday and Sri Lanka on Saturday at Headingley — but Kohli’s team is no longer unbeaten.

Kohli had only been dismissed once at Edgbaston in five previous innings. He was out after a 76-ball innings with seven fours when he sliced the ball to Vince at backward point off the bowling of Liam Plunkett. It proved too big a loss to momentum and eventually India lost to England at the World Cup for the first time since 1992.

“Every team has lost a game or two here and there. No one likes to lose but we have to take it in our stride. We have to accept it,” Kohli said. “We are still playing good cricket. The mood is the same in the changing room. We will learn from it and move forward.”unb


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