Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav slammed quickfire centuries to steer India to a three-wicket victory over England in the first One-Day International at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Sunday.
Chasing a difficult 351-run target, the hosts were tottering at 63/4 when the duo came together to add 200 runs between them in 24.3 overs. India now lead the three-match series 1-0.
Kohli, who thus enjoyed a victorious start to his stint as India’s limited-overs captain, plundered 122 runs over 105 deliveries, hitting eight boundaries and five sixes.
Jadhav smashed 120 runs over a whirlwind 76-ball innings that included 12 boundaries and four sixes. He fell to pacer Jake Ball while attempting another big hit.
Hardik Pandya then scored an unbeaten 40 off 37 balls to ensure that India crossed the line with three wickets and 1.5 overs to spare. Jake Ball was the most successful among the England bowlers with figures of 3/67 while fellow pacers David Willey and Ben Stokes returned 2/47 and 2/73 respectively. Chasing a difficult target, the hosts were off to a poor start with the England pacers striking early blows.
The perennially underperforming Shikhar Dhawan was the first to go, edging Willey to Moeen Ali at third man.
Willey dismissed Lokesh Rahul – the other Indian opener – in his very next over with an inswinging full length delivery that uprooted the middle stump. Comeback man Yuvraj Singh seemed to be in decent touch during his 12-ball stay in the middle that produced 15 runs. But he was done in by a poor piece of shot selection, edging a Stokes delivery which was sailing down the leg side to England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.
Ball clinched the coveted wicket of Mahendra Singh Dhoni when the former India captain misjudged the bounce of a short-pitched delivery while attempting a pull. The ball took the upper edge and lobbed up for an easy catch to Willey at midwicket as the hosts lost almost their entire top order by the 12th over. But with the Indians seemingly tottering their way towards defeat, Kohli and Jadhav turned the tide with their dominant batting.
Following the duo’s departure, Pandya finished off the chase with Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin providing excellent support at the other end.
Ashwin finished things off in style with a six off Ali in the penultimate over.
Earlier, half-centuries by Jason Roy (73) and Joe Root (78) helped England post a mammoth 350 for seven in 50 overs against India in their first One-Day International (ODI) match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Sunday.
Besides Roy and Root, all-rounder Ben strokes (61) and wicket-keeper Jos Buttler also produced fine knocks and contributed handsomely to the visitors’ cause.For India, medium pacers Pandya and Bumrah took two wickets each while left-arm spinner Jadeja and pacer Umesh Yadav chipped in with one wicket each.