Kuldeep’s 5-wicket hall and Rahul’s scintillating 101 powers India to an 8-wicket win against England in the first T20I at Old Trafford.
After chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav had left the English batsmen in a daze with his magical spell of wrist spin, restricting them to 159 for eight, Rahul blasted his way to an unbeaten 101 .
Scoring his second T20I hundred, Rahul whacked the English bowlers all over the park hitting 10 boundaries and 5 sixes.
Despite losing his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan in the first over, Rohit Sharma (32) combined with Rahul to stitch together a partnership of 123 in quick time to put the visitors on the path to victory, which they achieved for the loss of only two wickets.
No England bowler seemed troubling the batting duo. Adil Rashid was the most successful picking 1 wicket for 25 runs. Virat Kohli also became the fastest batsman to reach 2000 runs in T20I format in the match.
Earlier, Kuldeep broke the backbone of England batting, with a career-best five for 24 in four overs, after India chose to field.This, after a solid start by the in-form openers Jos Buttler (69, 45b) and Jason Roy (30, 20b), who added 50 in the first five overs of PowerPlay.
However, from a relatively comfortable 95 for one in the 12th over, Kuldeep removed England skipper Eoin Morgan (7), Jonny Bairstow (0) and Joe Root (0) in the 14th over, stopping England from posting a competitive total. Bairstow and Root deceived by flight and failed to read the turn off the pitch, getting stumped off successive deliveries.
Kuldeep’s effort was more praiseworthy considering that leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (none for 34) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (none for 44) had an off-day.
At the end India achieved the target with 10 balls to spare.