Kuldeep’s five-for, Rahul’s ton take India to an emphatic victory


Kuldeep Yadav’s magical spell of 5/24 and KL Rahul’s brilliant century of just 54 balls powered India to an emphatic 8 wicket victory over hosts England at Manchester in the first of the three match T20I series. Set an average target of 160, India achieved it with 10 balls to spare.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bowl. The English openers Jos Buttler (69 off 45 balls) and Jason Roy (30 off 20 balls) provided a solid start. However the English team lacked the skill and temperament to face the chinaman. From 95-1, they fell to 117-6 thanks to the maiden five-for by Kuldeep. He removed Hales, Morgan, Bairstow, Root and the inform Buttler. Umesh Yadav, who have returned to T20 cricket, also picked up 2 wickets. David Willey took England past 150 with his cameo (28 of 15 balls) including 2 4s and 2 6s.

India required an average score of 160 to go 1-0 in the 3 match series. Opener Shikhar Dhawan fell early to David Willey. Kohli decided to push himself down the order and promote Rahul. Rahul was filling in for the injured Manish Pandey. Rohit Sharma (32 off 30 balls) and KL Rahul added 123 runs for the second wicket. Rahul brought up his second T20I century in just 54 balls. His scintillating display of batting was laced with 10 fours and 5 sixes. Virat provided the finishing touch by slamming Moeen Ali to a six and remained unbeaten on 20.

T20I 100s for India:
118 Rohit v SL, Indore, 2017
110*KL Rahul v WI, Lauderhill, 2016
106 Rohit v SA, Dharamsala, 2015
101 S Raina v SA, Gros Islet, 2010
101* KL Rahul v Eng, Manchester, 2018

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli broke another record. He became the fastest to reach 2000 T20I runs.

Innings to 2000 T20I runs:

Virat  Kohli * (56)
Brendon McCullum (66)
Martin Guptill (68)
Shoaib Malik (92)

Virat is also the fastest to 1000 T20I runs with only 27 innings.