India scored itself a perfect starter at the T20I Series in England by beating the host British team in the first T20I match of the series with 10 balls in spare. India’s phenomenal win was marked with outstanding performance firstly by slow left-arm chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav and then by young Karnataka batsman KL Rahul to ensure a win for team India.
Earlier, it was India who won the toss and invited the hosts England to take on the charge with the bat. The hosts were quick enough as they wasted no time to get off to a flying start with both the English openers Jason Roy and Jos Buttler started hammering the Indian seamers for boundaries right from the early overs leaving Indian skipper Virat Kohli to introduce spin as early as in the fourth over of the match. But the openers were relentless even against the spin and totaled the score up to 44 odd runs in just 4 overs until Umesh Yadav picked up Jason Roy in the sixth over of the innings.
Thereafter, it was all a Kuldeep Yadav show as he picked wickets one by one and England witnessed a sudden collapse of its middle order. Although, Buttler made a quick fire 69 and was aided by Willey who smashed unbeaten 29 off just 15 balls, England were able to reach only up to a not-so-compelling total of 159 runs for 8 wickets in allotted 20 overs. From India’s bowling perspective, Kuldeep Yadav came out with his career best T20I Series bowling figures of 5 crucial wickets for 24 runs.
The second half of the match belonged to KL Rahul as India while setting on for the chase lost its first wicket in the form of opener Shikhar Dhawan in the very first over which invited in form KL Rahul to shoulder the responsibility of the chase. Together, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul added 123 runs for the second wicket, a partnership largely dominated by KL Rahul who dealt in fours and sixes all across the Old Trafford Cricket Ground. Well supported by Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the end, KL Rahul, who was earlier dropped on 17, played an explosive innings and finished with an unbeaten 101 in just 54 balls. This astounding innings sealed the deal for the tourists and made them register an 8 wicket win over the English team with 10 balls to spare in the first encounter of the T20I series.