Roy, Archer star as England trounce India in first T20

AFP

13th March, 2021 09:32:30 printer

Roy, Archer star as England trounce India in first T20

Jason Roy and Jofra Archer played the lead roles as England thrashed India by eight wickets in the opening Twenty20 interntional on Friday.

Chasing a modest 125, Roy hit a confident 49 as England romped home in 15.3 overs to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series at the world's biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.

The series is crucial for both sides as England are the world's top Twenty20 side and their opponents second, with the World Cup looming in October in India.

Roy and Jos Buttler put on 72 in a blazing opening stand. Roy, one of a group who missed England's 3-1 hammering in the Test series, hit three sixes and four fours in a spectacular return to form.

Buttler fell lbw to leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal for 28 and Roy fell one short of a half century when Washington Sundar trapped him lbw.

"I'll take 49 and a comfortable victory for the team any day," said Roy.

England skipper Eoin Morgan said his limited-overs team is not carrying the weight of England's Test defeats.

"We have been on tours before, where possibly the white-ball guys have played first and we have not played well and it has not lingered into the Test matches," said Morgan.

Dawid Malan finished on 24, including the six that won the game, and Jonny Bairstow, scored 26 off 17 balls to finish off the spectacle in front of one of the biggest crowds in a sports stadium since the coronavirus pandemic erupted.

Authorities allowed 55,000 tickets to go on sale in the 110,000 capacity stadium, but they did not give the crowd figure.

The Indian fans still roared on as Malan and Bairstow put on an unbroken stand of 41 after Archer took 3-23 in a fiery opening attack on the Indian batsmen.

Archer said it was too soon to say England have the upper hand.

"It is just the first game in the series," said the man of the match.

"There are still four games to go and they are number two in the world for a reason so I don't think we can get ahead of ourselves yet."

 

- 'World-class bowlers' -

Morgan won the toss, fielded first and India slipped to 48-4 with skipper Virat Kohli out for nought off leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

Kohli blamed a "below par batting performance" by his side.

"There was a lack of execution of some of the shots. We have to come back with much more intent and clarity of plan. The wicket did not allow you to play the kind of shots you wanted to," he added.

Archer claimed KL Rahul who hit an inside edge on to the stumps. Fellow quick Mark Wood rattled Shikhar Dhawan's stumps as he worled up speeds upto 152 kmph (over 94 mph).

Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant reverse hit Archer for a six behind the stumps, but he fell to Ben Stokes for 21.

Shreyas Iyer scored his third T20 fifty and put on 54 for the fifth wicket with Hardik Pandya, who smashed 19, to boost the Indian total.

But Archer, suffering from an injured elbow and who received strong support from Mark Wood, broke the partnership with Pandya's wicket and then took Shardul Thakur with his next ball.

"When the competition is tough you step up and competition brings out the best in me," Archer said on the quality of England's pace attack.

"There are many world class bowlers" in the England team, he said.

The second T20 is on Sunday at the same venue.


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