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Kuldeep’s six-for powers India to 8-wicket win over England in ODI opener
July 13, 2018
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Nottingham: Kuldeep Yadav’s outstanding bowling figures of 6/25 coupled with an impressive batting performance helped India seal an eight-wicket victory over England with a mammoth 59 balls to spare in the first ODI match at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Thursday.

Ton-up Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan shared an opening partnership of 59 runs to give India a promising start.

Sharma’s unbeaten 137 off 114 balls comprised of 15 fours and four boundries. Dhawan scored 40 from 27 balls consisting eight fours.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s 75 / 82 balls, peppered with seven fours, propelled India closer to target. Lokesh Rahul clinched nine runs from 18 balls as India registered an impressive win.

Earlier, India dismissed England for just 268.

Only a few weeks earlier, on June 19, on the same ground, England compiled a men’s ODI record total of 481 for six against Australia.

It was a different story on Thursday as 23-year-old left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep finished with career ODI-best figures of six for 25.

After Kuldeep had run through England’s top order with a burst of three wickets for five runs in 10 balls, Ben Stokes (50) and Jos Buttler (53) tried to repair the damage with a fifth-wicket stand of 93.

But neither batsman could break the shackles and both eventually fell to Kuldeep.

His return represented just the third time an overseas spinner had taken a five-wicket haul in an ODI in England following Sri Lanka great Muttiah Muralitharan’s five for 34 at Lord’s in 1998 and Suraj Randiv’s five for 42 for India at Old Trafford in 2011.

England, in the absence of the injured Alex Hales, saw openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow put on a brisk 73 after India captain Virat Kohli sent them into bat.

But the introduction of Kuldeep, in his 21st match at this level, changed the course of the innings.

It took Kuldeep, a thorn in England’s side during India’s 2-1 win in the preceding Twenty20 series, just two balls to strike at Trent Bridge.

Roy attempting an ambitious reverse sweep, mistimed the shot and gave a dolly catch to Umesh Yadav as he fell for 38.

Test captain Joe Root, back in the team after being left out of the team that lost the third T20, then played back to Kuldeep and was plumb lbw for three.

Bairstow had looked in excellent touch but, like Roy, he too fell for 38 when lbw to Yadav on review.

Spin also proved the undoing of England captain Eoin Morgan (19) when he carelessly chipped leg-break bowler Yuzvendra Chahal to Suresh Raina at midwicket.

Morgan’s exit left England 105 for four in the 20th over.

Stokes and Buttler staunched the flow of wickets without breaking the shackles.

Buttler was still able to complete a 45-ball fifty, albeit with just five fours, including a stylish cover-drive off Umesh.

But with England hoping he would cut loose late on, Buttler was instead dismissed when a glance off Kuldeep was well caught down the legside by veteran wicket-keeper MS Dhoni.

The normally hard-hitting Stokes then completed a fifty off a sedate 102 balls, including just two fours.

Stokes was also unable to press on. One ball after reaching his fifty, the left-hander tried to reverse sweep Kuldeep only for debutant Siddarth Kaul, who had been at short third man, to hold an excellent catch.

Kuldeep, who did not concede a boundary in his maximum 10 overs, struck again with his final delivery when David Willey holed out in the deep to KL Rahul.


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