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Rediff.com  » Cricket » PIX: Kuldeep, Rahul shine as India outclass England in T20 opener

PIX: Kuldeep, Rahul shine as India outclass England in T20 opener

July 04, 2018 01:59 IST

Kuldeep Yadav

IMAGE: Kuldeep Yadav celebrates the wicket of Jonny Bairstow. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav's magical spell of wrist spin and KL Rahul's dazzling strokeplay helped India outclass England by eight wickets in the first T20 International in Manchester, on Tuesday.

Kuldeep triggered an England batting collapse in the middle overs, picking up career-best figures of five for 24 in four overs, as he singlehandedly restricted England to below-par 159 for eight on a flat wicket.

Opener Rahul then dominated with the bat as he smashed his second T20 International hundred en route his 54-ball 101 as India comfortably chased the target in 18.2 overs.

KL Rahul

IMAGE: KL Rahul smashed his second T20 International hundred, hitting a brilliant 101 not out from 54 balls. Photograph: Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

He added 123 runs for the second wicket with Rohit Sharma (32 off 30 balls), who was content to play second fiddle to Rahul.

Rahul's innings had 10 fours and as many as five sixes as the talented Karnataka opener got a chance at No. 3 with captain Virat Kohli pushing himself down the order.

Chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav left the English batsmen in a daze with his magical spell of wrist spin, claiming his maiden five-wicket haul to restrict England to a manageable 159 for eight in the opening T20 International, in Manchester on Tuesday.

Captain Virat Kohli's decision to bowl was vindicated by young Kuldeep, who broke the backbone of the England batting with his career-best figures of five for 24 in four overs.

This was after a solid start provided by in-form openers Jos Buttler (69 off 45 balls) and Jason Roy (30 off 20 balls), who added 50 in the first five overs of Powerplay.

KL Rahul

IMAGE: KL Rahul hits out. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

However, from a relatively comfortable 95 for one in the 12th over, Kuldeep removed rival skipper Eoin Morgan (7), Jonny Bairstow (0) and Joe Root (0) in the 14th over, which prevented England from posting a competitive total on a placid track.

Those wickets were followed by the downfall of Alex Hales (8) and skipper Eoin Morgan (7) and followed Buttler, who was frustrated with wickets falling like ninepins at the other end.

Kuldeep's effort was even more praiseworthy considering that his fellow left-arm spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (0/34 in 4 overs) had an off-day and so did Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was hit for 44 runs in four overs.

After being put into bat, England started off well with both Buttler and Roy hitting a flurry of boundaries off Bhuvneshwar before Umesh Yadav made the breakthrough.

IMAGE: India's players celebrate after Umesh Yadav dismissed Jason Roy. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Umesh dismissed Roy bowled off an inside edge before Hales, who struggled for eight from 18 balls, attempted to sweep Kuldeep but missed and was bowled round the legs.

Captain Morgan tried to attack Kuldeep but was caught at midwicket by his opposite number as England kept losing wickets at regular intervals in the middle overs.

From 95 for one, England were left tottering at 107 for five and never really recovered from that body blow dealt by Kuldeep.

David Willey played a handy knock of 28 from 15 balls which enabled England to get past 150-run mark in the end.

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