England ease to opening win as Archer stars against below-par India

By Sports Desk March 12, 2021

England's bowlers produced an outstanding performance to lay the platform for an emphatic eight-wicket win in the first Twenty20 International against India.

The tourists were bamboozled by spin to lose the Test series but found a pitch much more to their liking at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, a venue where they twice suffered heavy defeats to go down 3-1 in the longest format.

Jofra Archer led the way with figures of 3-23 as India – who host the ICC T20 World Cup later this year – were restricted to 124-7 after being put in by visiting captain Eoin Morgan.

England had no such problems in their reply, Jason Roy smashing 49 off 32 deliveries to help wrap up victory with 27 balls to spare. 

Jos Buttler contributed 28 in an opening partnership worth 72 with Roy, who hit three sixes before being trapped lbw by Washington Sundar, one of three frontline spinners selected by the hosts for the opener in a five-match series. 

By contrast, England fielded a solitary slow bowler in their XI. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid (1-14) claimed the prized scalp of Virat Kohli for a duck having opened the bowling in a T20 at international level for the first time. 

Archer and Mark Wood (1-20) also struck early blows as India limped along to 22-3 by the end of the batting powerplay. Shreyas Iyer led a recovery of sorts, top-scoring with 67, but their final total never appeared enough at the halfway point. 

Rishabh Pant (21) thrilled the crowd with an outrageous reverse sweep off Archer that went for six, yet could only pick out Jonny Bairstow when he flicked a full delivery from Ben Stokes into the deep. 

Iyer and Hardik Pandya (19) shared a half-century stand having come together at 48-4, only for the latter to become the first of two wickets in as many deliveries from the excellent Archer. 

England made sure there were no complications in the chase with a powerplay onslaught from their openers, allowing Dawid Malan and Bairstow to ease them to their paltry target, the duo finishing unbeaten on 24 and 26 not out respectively. 

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    Cole won 107 caps in an illustrious playing career and will be the chief support to Carsley, combining the position with his role as a coach in Chelsea's academy.

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    "St. George's Park is an amazing place and I can't wait to get started. I want to do my best to help young players to develop, and also learn from some brilliant people at the same time."

     

    Boothroyd left the Under-21 job on a disappointing note after failing to progress through the group stage of this year's European Championship.

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    The new regime will start with matches against Romania and Kosovo in September.

    FA technical director John McDermott added: "I'm very happy to be able to confirm Lee's appointment, and to be able to bring in someone of Ashley's stature as his number two, with thanks to Chelsea for their support."

    Former Arsenal and Chelsea defender Cole, 40, has also worked as a television pundit since retiring as a player with Derby in 2019.

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  • Australia secures ODI series victory after West Indies' batting failures Australia secures ODI series victory after West Indies' batting failures

    Australia's bowlers starred as the tourists cruised to a six-wicket victory to seal a 2-1 ODI series win over the West Indies in Barbados on Monday.

    The West Indies, who were looking for their first bilateral men’s ODI series win against Australia since 1995, were skittled for 152 with pace pair Mitchell Starc (43-3) and Josh Hazlewood (18-2) dominating again.

    Opening batsman Evin Lewis offered the only resistance with 55* from 66 balls, having recovered from an early edge to the helmet, with no other West Indian scoring higher than 18.

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    Agar (19*) combined with Matthew Wade (51* from 52 balls), after Australia had been mildly concerned at 99-4 following Alex Carey's dismissal for 35, to finish the job with 117 balls to spare.

    Wade delivered some lusty blows including a six which landed on top of the Greenridge-Haynes Stand, finishing with five fours and two sixes.

    POLLARD RUES "ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS" CONDITIONS

    Pollard lamented the West Indies' batting performance again, having scored only 123 in the first ODI of the series at the same venue, but slammed the "absolutely ridiculous" pitch in Bridgetown.

    The West Indies struggled throughout with the bat, with a run rate of 3.36, managing only nine fours and six sixes, compared to Australia's run rate of 5.01 in pursuit.

    Runs were in no short supply for Pollard's side in the 4-1 T20I series win in Saint Lucia which preceded the ODIs.

    "Coming from the T20 series, the difference in the strokeplay was evident," Pollard said. "Coming here to Barbados, I think both teams struggled on the pitch and I think that's unacceptable for international cricket.

    "We're not going to make excuses. We accept that we batted badly but I don't think the scores that we have gotten in this three-match series, with two top international teams, I think that's very embarrassing. Coming from St Lucia to this, I think it's absolutely ridiculous."

    "GROUP EFFORT" FROM AUSSIES

    Starc finished the three-game ODI series with the most wickets, claiming 11 dismissals, including a five-wicket haul in the opener and was rewarded with the Player of the Series award.

    Stand-in skipper Carey finished with the most runs in the series with 112, while Agar's Player of the Match gong was the first of his ODI career.

    Carey said: "Fantastic group effort. I thought the bowlers did a great job, I thought there were some good innings throughout the series.

    "It was a little bit ugly tonight but you've got to get a total like that a bit ugly when the wicket is doing a fair bit."

    Australia had lost seven of their last 10 men’s ODIs played away from home, but showed their quality in 50-over cricket with the series victory.

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