Jonny Bairstow’s 124-run knock helps England chase India’s 336-run target with 39 balls to spare; heartache for Ben Stokes as all-rounder gets out for 99


England on Friday thrashed India by six wickets after the visitors successfully chased 336 runs with balls to spare. Jonny Bairstow played an impressive knock of 124 runs that he took just 112 balls to score. Ben Stokes was unlucky to get out at 99, which he scored by facing just 52 balls.

Jonny Bairstow

Earlier, batting first, India amassed a total of 336-6 in their quota of 50 overs with KL Rahul hitting the form to score 108 runs in 114 balls. Rishabh Pant made 77, while skipper Virat Kohli contributed with 66 runs.

English batsmen made their intention absolutely clear right from the word go as they began to hit Indian bowlers all around the stadium. Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow added 116 runs for the first wicket in just 16.1 overs. Bairstow continued with his aggressive batting even after Roy departed for 55 in 52 balls.

Stokes, how replaced Roy, was in an explosive form as he made the last 45 runs of his 99-run knock in just 10 overs. His knock of 99 included 10 sixes and four boundaries. Both Stokes and Bairstow added 175 runs for the second wicket in just 117 balls or 19.3 overs.

Though England lost three quick wickets, the collective effort of Roy, Bairstow and Stokes had done enough to ensure that the victory was a mere formality.

India had defeated England by 66 runs in the first ODI after the visitors suffered from a spectacular batting collapse. 

Kohli said after the match, “I think we set quite a decent total on the board. It was going to be challenging if we stayed in the game for long periods. I think we started off really well with the new ball but still England found a way to get a 100 run partnership. We didn’t execute too well but I thought they batted brilliantly tonight. It was some of the most amazing batting you’ll see when chasing. They totally blew us away during that partnership of Jonny and Ben Stokes. We didn’t even have a chance during that partnership. I don’t think the dew played any role at all. The ball wasn’t difficult to hold. You could say the wicket settles down a bit under lights but that’s no excuse. When two of the best teams in the world collide, one of them is going to win convincingly. Last time we came back. This time England didn’t give us anything at all. It’s quite rare that if you play with that strike rate and give no chances. It shows the quality of batting. We need to manage Hardik’s body as well going forward. We need to understand where we need his skillsets with the ball along with his batting.

“We used him in the T20Is but it’s a bit of workload management as well. We want to ensure we have Hardik Pandya fit and strong, because he’s going to be an important part of the squad. We lost two wickets early on and needed a partnership. That happened with KL and myself. KL carried on, really happy for him. Then Rishabh changed the game, and Hardik finished it off as well. Really pleased with these young guys stepping up. But tonight wasn’t our night, it was England’s. Nicely set up for the decider. I never played for 100s in my life, that’s probably why I ended up getting so many in such little time. It’s all about contributing to the team cause. If the team doesn’t win when you get three figures it doesn’t mean anything. You’re not going to sit back at the end of your career and look at numbers, it’s more about how you played the game. When the top two sides are playing each other, it’s about who is better on the night.”