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Virat Kohli will be encouraged by a magnificent display from Kuldeep Yadav.

KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav star for India in resounding win over England

Tourists win first T20I by eight wickets

Kuldeep Yadav takes 5/24 to help restrict England to 159/8, before KL Rahul smashes India home with an unbeaten 101.


India defeated England by eight wickets at Old Trafford thanks to outstanding performances from Kuldeep Yadav and KL Rahul.

Kuldeep's 5/24 helped restrict England to 159/8 after the hosts made a sprightly start, before KL Rahul demolished the English bowling attack on his way to a magnificent unbeaten 101.

Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat, preferring to chase a total against in-form England on a stunning day in Manchester, in front of a crowd that was laden with Indian supporters. England began well, as Jason Roy got off to a flyer before bottom edging one on to his stumps from Umesh Yadav. Jos Buttler was a threat from the outset, and raced to his seemingly inevitable half-century from 29 balls as he once again displayed imperious form with the bat.

Jos Buttler batted wonderfully for his 69.
Jos Buttler batted wonderfully for his 69.

Just as it looked like England would kick on and mount a big total, Kuldeep Yadav entered the attack and cleaned up Alex Hales as the England number three tried to sweep and got nowhere near it, leaving the hosts 95/2 and still arguably on top. What followed was total and utter devastation for England, but a phenomenal display of wrist spin bowling, prompting jubilant celebrations for the Indian fans in the stadium and the players on the field. The hosts slumped from 106/2 to 107/5, as the 14th over yielded three wickets courtesy of an inspired display from the young left-arm wrist spinner. 

Skipper Eoin Morgan was the first to go, holing out to Kohli in the deep, before Bairstow was dismissed from his first delivery thanks to some rapid glove-work from MS Dhoni. Kuldeep got the ball to rip away from Bairstow, and he could do nothing but attempt to prod at it, being drawn marginally out of his crease and having his bails whipped off. Joe Root was dismissed in similar fashion, losing his balance and falling some way out of his crease. Dhoni didn't take the ball cleanly, but Root was late to react and get back behind the line, Dhoni taking off the bails just in time. 

Kuldeep Yadav recorded figures of 5/24.
Kuldeep Yadav recorded figures of 5/24.

Jos Buttler was in scintillating form, but spent much of his time at the non-striker's end, as he stood witness to a capitulation thanks to the exploits of India's new spin prodigy, Kuldeep Yadav. Moeen Ali was the next man out, Hardik Pandya grabbing his wicket via a tame shot that looped into Suresh Raina's grateful clasp, before Yadav picked up the pivotal wicket of Buttler, who fell for 69 from 46. David Willey helped the hosts reach 159/8, smacking an unbeaten 29 from 15 balls with two sixes and a couple of fours, but Chris Jordan joined Root and Bairstow in the golden duck club, unfortunately chipping one into the inside of his own pad into Umesh Yadav's hands for a caught and bowled.

England began their response with the ball well, as David Willey grabbed the scalp of the dangerous Shikhar Dhawan in the first over, the opener playing onto his own stumps in an attempt to drive the ball through cover. KL Rahul came out to the middle, and what ensued was pure class. He and Rohit Sharma put on a stand of 123, but it was Rahul who stole the headlines, dispatching England's bowlers to all parts with some stunning shots, showcasing his extreme talent with such calmness and maturity. He smashed 10 fours and five sixes, and he made light work of Moeen Ali, who ended the day with figures of 0/37 from his 2.2 overs.

KL Rahul looked untouchable for his unbeaten 101.
KL Rahul looked untouchable for his unbeaten 101.

Rohit rotated the strike to good effect before being dismissed by the impressive Adil Rashid, who was the pick of the England bowlers like he often is for his country in this format. Kohli replaced Sharma in the middle and was greeted with a rapturous reception from the Indian supporters. The skipper and Rahul dealt in singles for the remainder of the innings, and Kohli ensured that his batting partner reached his second T20I century with some patient batting. Once Rahul had reached his century, from just 53 deliveries, Kohli gave the crowd what they so craved and sealed the win with a sweet six over long-on, coming down the wicket to Moeen and dispatching it with ease.

It was a seriously classy display from India, yet before England's monumental collapse at the hands of Kuldeep Yadav, it looked as if the hosts were about to kick on and make a big total. Jos Buttler was brilliant, but Kuldeep Yadav's contribution can not be understated. He was backed up by a terrific knock from Rahul, who was virtually faultless in his successful pursuit of England's target, and India begin their tour of England with a resounding victory.

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