Roy and Bairstow ride their luck with century stand against India

Birmingham (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


Jason Roy marked his return to the World Cup with a fifty as England made an excellent start in their key clash with India at Edgbaston on Sunday.

England were 124 without loss after 17 overs in a match they needed to win to keep semi-final qualification in their own hands after successive defeats by Sri Lanka and Australia had rocked their hopes of reaching the knockout phase.

Roy, who had missed England's last three matches with a torn hamstring, was 57 not out and Jonny Bairstow 62 not out after home captain Eoin Morgan won the toss.

Tournament hosts England, looking to win the World Cup for the first time, had struggled to make good starts in Roy's absence.

Roy, however, was quickly into his stride, with the Surrey star chopping his second ball from Mohammed Shami for four, then drilling wide of mid off for another boundary.

Bairstow, involved in a pre-match spat with former England captain Michael Vaughan after suggesting pundits wanted England to lose, had two lucky breaks when big inside edges missed the stumps.

India captain Virat Kohli brought on leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the sixth over but Bairstow soon hit him down the ground, with Roy striking boundaries on either side of the wicket.

But Jasprit Bumrah, the world's top-ranked one-day international bowler, was proving tough to get away.

Roy could have been out on 21 when India all-rounder Hardik Pandya appealed for a caught behind down the legside off his fourth delivery.

But experienced Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar signalled a wide instead and Kohli opted against a review, although replays suggested the ball had touched Roy's glove.

Roy's response was to hit Pandya's next ball for six.

Bairstow completed a 56-ball fifty when he launched Chahal for a six that just cleared the back-pedalling KL Rahul at long-on, the fielder landing awkwardly as he made a desperate attempt at a catch.

Roy then followed his opening partner to the landmark in just 41 balls.

As well as recalling Roy, England brought back paceman Liam Plunkett at the expense of off-spinner Moeen Ali.

Meanwhile India -- needing just one win from their three remaining group games to secure a semi-final place -- made one change, with batsman Rishabh Pant preferred to all-rounder Vijay Shankar.