PUNE: Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav hit centuries and combined in a 200-run stand to help India comfortably chase down a steep target of 351 against England and win the first one-day international by three wickets yesterday. India’s chase seemed over when England reduced them to 63-4 in the 12th over but captain Kohli and local boy Jadhav turned the match on its head with the hosts reaching the target with 11 balls to spare to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The touring side, who lost a five-match test series 4-0 before returning home for Christmas, would have felt confident of victory after posting 350-7.
Half-centuries from Jason Roy, Joe Root and Ben Stokes took England to their highest ODI total against India, who won the toss and opted to bowl first.
England lost Alex Hales early but opener Roy (73) and Root, who top-scored for his side with 78, added 69 for the second wicket to lay a solid foundation.
Roy was given out leg before on 18 off paceman Umesh Yadav but reviewed successfully to overturn the decision with replays showing the ball was missing the stumps. Stokes provided the late assault with a 40-ball knock of 62, studded with two fours and five sixes, as India bled 105 runs in the last eight overs.
Left-arm seamer David Willey gave England the ideal start with the ball by dismissing Indian openers Lokesh Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan inside the first six overs. Yuvraj Singh, playing his first ODI in over three years, and former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni did not last long either as India were left staring at a heavy defeat. But Kohli, playing his first match as India’s full-time captain across all formats, and Jadhav then took the attack to the England bowlers.
Kohli, who was the highest scorer in the recent Test series, was stranded on 99 for three deliveries before he danced down the pitch to hit paceman Chris Woakes for a six and bring up his 27th ODI hundred, which came in 93 balls. Jadhav, who struggled with cramp towards the end of his knock, guided the same bowler to third man for a boundary to bring up his second ton off 65 balls.
Stokes dismissed Kohli after a 105-ball 122, studded with eight fours and five sixes. Jadhav was out after a 76-ball 120, with 12 fours and four sixes, to fast bowler Jake Ball, the most successful English bowler with three for 67. Hardik Pandya, unbeaten on 40, and Ravichandran Ashwin (15 not out) combined in a crucial eighth-wicket stand of 38 at the end to take India home.
The second match of the series will be played at Cuttack on Thursday. – Reuters