Krunal Pandya enjoys debut to savour as England collapse to defeat

By Sports Desk March 23, 2021

A magnificent and emotional ODI debut from all-rounder Krunal Pandya helped to give India an authoritative 66-run win in the series opener against England.

The tourists twice looked to have taken control of the contest – initially when India squandered the platform laid by Shikhar Dhawan (98) and stumbled to 202-5, before Jonny Bairstow (94) and Jason Roy (46) tore after the eventual target of 317-5 with a 135-run opening stand inside 15 overs.

But Krunal clattered an unbeaten 58 form 31 deliveries, featuring seven fours and two sixes, as he and KL Rahul climbed into some sub-par death bowling from England.

In a curtailed mid-innings interview following his knock, Krunal broke down in tears as he dedicated his format debut to his father, who passed away in January.

Having seen his left-arm spin disappear under Roy and Bairstow's early assault, Krunal returned to claim the important wicket of Sam Curran (12) as England subsided meekly – seamers Prasidh Krishna (4-54), Bhuveneshwar Kumar (2-30) and Shardul Thakur (3-37) doing the bulk of the damage to dismiss Eoin Morgan's side for 251 in 42.1 overs.

 

Related items

  • Powell defends decision to leave out McCoy against England Powell defends decision to leave out McCoy against England

    West Indies fans were left perplexed when pacer Obed McCoy was left out of the XI to play England in their opening Super 8 encounter at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St. Lucia on Wednesday.

    The Vincentian left-arm quick took 3-14 from three overs in the last group stage game against Afghanistan at the same venue after coming into the team for Romario Shepherd who left the squad to attend the birth of his second child.

    Historically, McCoy’s eight wickets in three games at the venue is the third most among active cricketers with only Pakistan Saeed Ajmal with 11 wickets in five games and Hayden Walsh Jr with 12 wickets in five games ahead of him.

    Despite these statistics, McCoy was left out of the team that suffered a brutal eight-wicket loss on Thursday.

    Shepherd, who came back into the side in place of McCoy, conceded 41 runs in two overs.

    His last over was belted for 30 runs by Phil Salt who finished 87*.

    West Indies Captain Rovman Powell defended the call to leave McCoy out of the side.

    “I think when you're selecting a team and you have players that are playing good you will always have to make the tough decision. We sat down as a selection group and thought that the team that played today is our better team to face England and it just didn't work out tonight,” Powell said in a post-match press conference.

    The hosts will next take on joint hosts the USA in Barbados on Friday before facing South Africa in their final Super 8 game in Antigua on Sunday.

    Despite Wednesday’s loss, the West Indies still have their fate in their own hands as wins in those two games will see them having a good chance of making it to the last four.

    “I think our destiny is still in our own hands. It's just for us to continue to play good cricket. And once we do that, we think we'll be ok,” Powell said.

     

     

  • Saka insists there is more to come from England ahead of Denmark clash Saka insists there is more to come from England ahead of Denmark clash

    Bukayo Saka has said there is another level to come from England ahead of their Group C fixture against Denmark in Frankfurt. 

    The Three Lions started their Euro 2024 campaign with a 1-0 win over Serbia last Sunday, courtesy of Jude Bellingham's fourth international goal. 

    But England supporters were left wanting more from their side at full-time, with Serbia controlling the game after the break and possibly unfortunate to not steal a point. 

    Saka, who is featuring in his third major tournament for his country, played a huge role in Bellingham's opener, crossing the ball onto the head of the Real Madrid star.

    Alongside Phil Foden, Harry Kane and Bellingham, the Arsenal attacker is part of an exciting plethora of attacking options for Gareth Southgate at the tournament, but he believes there is room for improvement ahead of their game with Denmark. 

    "Yeah, a bit you could say that," Saka said if England's attacking display against Serbia was fluid. "You could say that for the goal, but I think there is a new level to come from us."

    The 22-year-old was part of the England side who reached the final at Euro 2020 and started the game against Denmark in the semi-finals, which the Three Lions won 2-1 after extra-time at Wembley. 

    "Denmark are a good team and provide a good challenge," Saka said. "We played them at the last Euros, and it went to extra-time, but we won in the end. 

    "That was a very special night, a very special night."

    England arrived in Germany as one of the favourites to win the competition after their displays at their last three major tournaments. 

    Saka has become a mainstay under Southgate's tenure at the helm, and he believes the current squad looking to end England's 58-year wait for an international trophy is the best it has been. 

    "I would like to say so. The experience also makes us better. A lot of us were there at that tournament and the World Cup as well. 

    "We learned things from playing together which makes us better, so I would say so."

  • Bairstow impresses Buttler with 'senior player's innings' Bairstow impresses Buttler with 'senior player's innings'

    England captain Jos Buttler has praised Jonny Bairstow's "mature innings" after their impressive eight-wicket victory over West Indies at the T20 World Cup.

    England successfully chased down their target of 181 with 15 balls to spare thanks to dominant batting from Phil Salt and Jonny Bairstow.

    Salt scored 87 not out, including a 30-run over, while Bairstow's 48 not out saw them over the line after losing two wickets to get off to a winning start in the Super 8s.

    After mixed results in the group stage, Buttler was pleased with the commanding performance of his team, praising the batters for their smart display.

    "That was a really good performance from us," Buttler said at the post-match presentation. "We planned really well. We've been practising well and executed both with the bat and ball and deserved to win.

    "I thought we bowled really well to restrict such a powerful batting line-up, such great six-hitters especially. [It was a] decent score, and you had to play well to chase it down.

    "I thought we were very smart with the bat. Guys were very calculated when they took their options on. The Bairstow and Salt partnership was so good. Jonny came in with great intent and took the momentum straight back. Salty tucked in behind him for a bit and when he got that one big over, he broke the back of it.

    "[Bairstow] is a class player, he has been for a really long time. That's what we decided to do, you just keep backing class players.

    "He hasn't had many opportunities but today was an incredibly impressive innings. A really mature, senior player's innings. With a lot of power, he scored at a great gear when the game was just in the balance.

    "A lot of people say you learn when you lose, but I truly believe you learn when you win as well. [It is] important to reflect on what we did well today. We had a good performance, put that to bed and focus on the next performance."

    England's opening game was washed out against Scotland before they lost to Australia in the second, but back-to-back wins against Oman and Namibia were enough for them to qualify for the Super 8s.

    Salt, on the back of his best run-tally in the tournament so far, is confident England have found their footing as they prepare to face South Africa on Friday.

    "Tournament cricket, in my experience, is all about having the confidence and momentum at the same time - and having a little bit of luck here and there," Salt said.

    "If we can just keep building on that game by game, we'll be in a pretty good spot."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.