England v India: World Cup talking points
Birmingham (United Kingdom) (AFP) –
England beat India by 31 runs in Sunday's World Cup clash to keep their semi-finals hopes intact.
AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the crucial match at Edgbaston:
Bairstow lets his bat do the talking
Jonny Bairstow had received flak for his criticism of the World Cup pitches after claiming they had been changed for the tournament, but the England batsman delivered when he got a strip to his liking at Edgbaston.
Bairstow, who was also embroiled in a row with former England captain Michael Vaughan after insisting pundits wanted his team to lose, started with a few lucky edges that went past the stumps for four but soon took control with his attacking play.
He combined with opening partner Jason Roy to bring up the tournament's best first-wicket partnership of 160 runs.
The steely determination to defy his critics reflected in his batting as he pulled, drove and reverse swept with equal elan in his 111 off 109 balls.
Bairstow, whose innings was laced 10 fours and six sixes, got to his eighth ODI hundred to take off his helmet, raise his bat and put his thumbs up to the dressing room.
Shami makes it count
Mohammed Shami looked like getting a wicket every ball at the start of his spell only to return figures of 0-21 after three overs of speed and accuracy.
It was in his third spell that Shami came back roaring to finally see the back of Jonny Bairstow who sliced an outside the off stump ball to get caught at deep cover.
The 28-year-old Shami, who only got a World Cup game after an injury to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, struck again in his sixth over to get England skipper Eoin Morgan out for one.
He kept getting key England wickets including Joe Root and Jos Buttler to claim a maiden five-wicket ODI haul for the first time in a career that began in 2013.
But Stokes crashed Shami's party after getting 15 runs with two fours, a six and one single off the bowlers' 10th over as he returned figures of 5-69.
Sharma's valiant hundred
Rohit Sharma once again showed his thirst for runs can't be quenched as he tried to launch India's chase with a century that entertained the packed Edgbaston crowd.
The opener survived an early reprieve when Joe Root dropped a regulation chance at second slip off Jofra Archer.
He went about his innings in clinical fashion, running the singles and twos and chipping in with an occasional boundary as he reached his fifty with a four off Adil Rashid.
The Indian vice-captain lost his partner in Virat Kohli after a 138-run stand but went on to complete his third century in the World Cup.
He was finally caught behind off Woakes for 102 while trying to cut a rising delivery wide outside the off stump as wicketkeeper Jos Buttler made no mistake.
Sharma walked back in disbelief, taking with him India's chances of a record World Cup run chase.
? 2019 AFP