Clinical India halt England’s white-ball run

India's Lokesh Rahul celebrates making a century against England. Picture: PA
India's Lokesh Rahul celebrates making a century against England. Picture: PA
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England’s winning white-ball run came to a juddering halt at Old Trafford as India stormed into a 1-0 lead at the start of the Vitality IT20 series.

Jos Buttler’s seventh Twenty20 half-century in his last eight attempts hinted at much better than England’s eventual 159 for eight after being put in.

Kuldeep Yadav did the damage with his maiden five-wicket haul at this level, and then KL Rahul (101no) made short work of the chase as India 
prevailed with eight wickets and ten balls to spare.

The conclusion was long foregone once Rahul raced to his 50 from just 27 balls in a second-wicket partnership of 123 with Rohit Sharma. He escaped one chance when Jason Roy put him down at point off David Willey on 17, but was otherwise imperious as he cashed in his second Twenty20 international hundred with ten fours and five sixes.

Whereas England’s spinners could make no difference, Kuldeep had stopped the home batsmen in their tracks as they lost three wickets in one over and five for 22 after reaching 95 for one.

The home innings was very much one of two halves – before and after the left-arm wrist-spinner’s intervention.

In the second instalment, there were three golden ducks and only one double-figure score between eight batsmen after Buttler (69) and Roy had shared a 50 opening stand.

Kuldeep (five for 24) conceded a boundary to Buttler from his first delivery. He then mixed up his pace wonderfully, however, to flummox Alex Hales – who was eventually bowled round his legs trying to sweep, ending his laboured contribution of eight from 18 balls.

Roy was his usual flamboyant self until he edged an attempted pull at Umesh Yadav down on to his stumps.

It was not until Kuldeep took over, though, that England hit the skids.

Captain Eoin Morgan mistimed an attempted slog-sweep to his opposite number Virat Kohli running in from deep midwicket.

That was the first ball of Kuldeep’s third over, and by the end of it he had two more wickets in two balls as Jonny Bairstow and then Joe Root went in all-Yorkshire golden-duck action replay – both stumped off googlies.

Moeen Ali could not stop the rot and Buttler was Kuldeep’s last victim when he was caught at long-on by Kohli.

England’s No 8 Willey hit an unbeaten 29 from just 15 balls – it seemed briefly that it might be enough to challenge India.

Rahul quickly put paid to that theory, though, coming to the crease after the early loss of Shikhar Dhawan– edging on to Willey. Then even after Rohit drove Adil Rashid into the hands of extra cover, Kohli duly helped to administer the necessary - passing 2,000 runs in this format along the way.