PUNE: Opener Shikhar Dhawan smashed 98 and debutant pace bowler Prasidh Krishna claimed four wickets as India thrashed England by 66 runs in the opening One-day International on Tuesday.
Dhawan started strongly while K.L. Rahul, 62 not out, and Krunal Pandya, unbeaten 58 off 31 balls, steered the hosts to 317-5 after being put into bat first at the start of the three ODIs at the MCA Stadium in Pune.
Jonny Bairstow led England’s robust reply with an incendiary 94 before the wheels came off their chase and the tourists folded for 251 in 42.1 overs.
Krishna, who returned figures of 4-54, a best by an Indian on ODI debut, and fellow quick bowler Shardul Thakur shared seven wickets between them and turned the game on its head after Bairstow put on a blazing opening stand of 135 with Jason Roy.
Krishna broke the stand to send back Roy out for 46 and then struck in his next over with the key wicket of Ben Stokes for one.
He nearly got his third on the next ball when Morgan, who came into bat with four stitches on the webbing of his hand, edged his first ball to Kohli at slip but the Indian captain dropped the catch.
Thakur soon took over from Krishna to deny Bairstow his hundred after getting the opener caught at deep midwicket. Bairstow smashed seven sixes in his 66-ball blitz but Thakur turned the match on its head with three quick strikes that also included the wickets of Morgan and Jos Buttler.
He then struck twice in his next over to send back Morgan, for 22, and Jos Buttler, lbw for two, as England slipped further to 176-5.
Moeen Ali made a fighting 30 before falling to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who combined with Pandya and Krishna to wipe off the tail.
For India, left-hander Pandya, who played alongside his younger brother Hardik Pandya, put on an unbroken stand of 112 with wicket-keeper-batsman Rahul as India finished with a flourish.
Stokes struck first with his pace bowling before returning figures of 3-34 from eight overs. Playing his first ODI since his man-of-the-match performance in the final of the 2019 World Cup, Stokes dismissed Rohit to break the blossoming partnership.
Dhawan put on 105 for the second wicket with Kohli. He made his 31st ODI fifty with a six off leg-spinner Adil Rashid.
Kohli reached a run-a-ball fifty but fell for 56 to pace bowler Mark Wood.
Dhawan, who hit 11 fours and two sixes in his 106-ball knock, fell short of his hundred after he mistimed a pull off Stokes.
Krunal Pandya completed his 50 in 26 balls to record the fastest fifty for an ODI debutant and later choked up with emotion while dedicating the innings to his father who died in January.
India fielded the Pandya brothers — Krunal and Hardik — while England had the Curran siblings — Sam and Tom — in their playing XI.
The remaining two matches are scheduled on Friday and Sunday, both in Pune.
R.G. Sharma c Buttler b Stokes 28
S. Dhawan c Morgan b Stokes 98
V. Kohli c Moeen b Wood 56
S.S. Iyer c sub b Wood 6
K.L. Rahul not out 62
H.H. Pandya c Bairstow b Stokes 1
K.H. Pandya not out 58
EXTRAS (LB-3, W-5) 8
TOTAL (for five wkts, 50 overs) 317
FALL OF WKTS: 1-64, 2-169,3-187, 4-197, 5-205.
DID NOT BAT: S.N. Thakur, B. Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, M.P. Krishna.
BOWLING: Wood 10-1-75-2 (1w); S.M. Curran 10-1-48-0 (1w); T.K. Curran 10-0-63-0 (1w); Stokes 8-1-34-3; Adil Rashid 9-0-66-0 (2w); Moeen Ali 3-0-28-0.
J.J. Roy c sub b Krishna 46
J.M. Bairstow c Kuldeep b Thakur 94
B.A. Stokes c sub b Krishna 1
E.J.G. Morgan c Rahul b Thakur 22
J.S. Buttler lbw b Thakur 2
S.W. Billings c Kohli b Krishna 18
Moeen Ali c Rahul b Kumar 30
S.M. Curran c sub b K. Pandya 12
T.K. Curran c Kumar b Krishna 11
Adil Rashid c Rahul b Kumar 0
M.A. Wood not out 2
EXTRAS (LB-3, W-10) 13
TOTAL (all out, 42.1 overs) 251
FALL OF WKTS: 1-135, 2-137, 3-169, 4-175, 5-176, 6-217, 7-237, 8-239, 9-241.
BOWLING: Kumar 9-0-30-2 (2w); Krishna
8.1-1-54-4 (3w); Thakur 6-0-37-3; K.H. Pandya 10-0-59-1; Kuldeep Yadav 9-0-68-0 (1w).
RESULT: India won by 66 runs to lead three-match series 1-0.
UMPIRES: N.N. Menon (India) and K.N. Ananthapadmanabhan (India).
TV UMPIRE: A.K. Chaudhary (India).
MATCH REFEREE: J. Srinath (India).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Shikhar Dhawan.
SECOND MATCH: Pune, Friday (1:00pm PST).
THIRD MATCH: Pune, Sunday (1:00pm PST).
Published in Dawn, March 24th, 2021