Saturday 28 March, 2020

Rahul and Yadav tear through England in T20 opener

KL Rahul and Virat Kohli celebrate for India.

KL Rahul and Virat Kohli celebrate for India.

KL Rahul delivered an outstanding unbeaten 101 as India cruised to an eight-wicket win over England in their opening Twenty20 international in Manchester on Tuesday.

England were on the back of a run of six consecutive limited-overs triumphs - all against Australia - but they came up well short against an India side inspired by their 26-year-old batsman.

The brilliant Kuldeep Yadav (5-24) rattled through the hosts' middle order to limit England to a total of 159-8 that never looked like being enough, with only Jos Buttler (69) - again impressing - recording a half-century.

Rahul's 123-run partnership with Rohit Sharma (32) had India well on their way to victory before Virat Kohli (20) joined the former at the crease to wrap up victory with 10 balls remaining.

Jason Roy (30) and Buttler were influential in England's recent results and they reached a rapid 50 before the first wicket fell to Yadav.

But it was all downhill from there as Buttler saw partner after partner dispatched, with MS Dhoni improbably stumping Yorkshire duo Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root from consecutive Yadav deliveries as the bowler collected three wickets in the 14th over.

When Yadav finally removed Buttler - launched to Kohli at long-on - he sealed his first T20 five-for and England limped towards a middling total.

Shikhar Dhawan departed in the first over of India's innings to David Willey but, unfortunately for England, that was not a sign of things to come.

Rahul's 101 came from 54 balls and included 10 fours and five sixes, his individual brilliance meaning Rohit needed only to make 32 off 30 to help India along.

Rohit fell but captain Kohli was there to keep chipping away alongside his side's star man to see out a comfortable, confident success.

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