A Suresh Raina century helped India surpass 300 in a One Day International for a record third-time at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff – a total that England failed to get anywhere near as they suffered a batting collapse and lost by 133 runs.
The left-handed batsman scored 100 and received strong support from captain MS Dhoni (52) as India impressed after being put into bat first by Alastair Cook.
After a short rain delay, England embarked on chasing a revised total of 295, but struggled
throughout the order, despite 40 from debutant Alex Hales at the top of the order.
They were all out for 161 in just 38 overs, as Ravindra Jadeja claimed match-best bowling figures of 4-28 and helped India to a 1-0 series lead.
England’s decision to field first looked justified when Chris Woakes struck twice within four balls in the eighth over. The Warwickshire man had Shikhar Dhawan (11) caught behind
by Jos Buttler, before Cook held onto Virat Kohli (0) at mid off.
Kohli’s torrid tour continued as he was dismissed for his third duck since arriving in England this summer.
With India at 19-2 – and the ball moving around in overcast conditions – the hosts had reason to be optimistic, but India began rebuilding their innings when Ajinkya Rahane joined opener Rohit Sharma at the crease.
Sharma and Rahane went about their business without sending the ball to all corners of the ground, but the strike was regularly rotated as they saw off the new ball and started
working towards building a big Indian total.
When Jos Buttler stumped Rahane off the bowling of James Tredwell for 41, he had put on a 91-run partnership with Sharma.
The opener managed to reach his half-century before also falling to the off-spinner. Woakes added to his two early wickets by catching Sharma (52).
That wicket, which at the time seemed like another breakthrough, actually paved the way for the key stand in the Indian innings. Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni both scored at more than a run-a-ball and produced a partnership worth 146 in just 17 overs.
The left-hander struck three sixes on his way to his fourth ODI ton, reaching three figures in just 74 deliveries. However, Raina went the very next ball he faced, being caught on the boundary by James Anderson to hand a third wicket to Chris Woakes.
The all-rounder wasn’t done just yet either. A slower ball was enough to deceive the Indian captain in the penultimate over – and provide him with figures of 4-52 – before some quick
hitting by Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin took India beyond 300.
Some showers in the interval postponed England’s chase, and as such they were set a revised target of 295 from 47 overs.
A solid opening partnership of 54 runs included some great shots from debutant Alex Hales. The right-hander top-scored for his side with 40 but his teammates were dropping
like flies around him.
Alastair Cook (19) was the first man to go, before Ian Bell (1) was also dismissed in the same Mohammed Shami over. And Joe Root wasn’t far behind them as he trundled back to the pavilion as well.
Hales’ ODI debut finally came to an end as he became Jadeja’s first victim of the day. The
spinner struck twice in quick succession to remove Buttler for 2.
England – who were 54-0 at one stage – had now slipped to 85-5, with more than 200 runs still required for victory in what was effectively the first game of a four-match 50-over series.
The home side still had Eoin Morgan at the crease, and the Irish-born slogger was their last hope of an unlikely victory. Nevertheless, India were on a role and Kohli somewhat
atoned for his batting performance by claiming the catch that removed Morgan for 28, off the bowling of Ashwin.
Ben Stokes (23) and Chris Woakes (20) were among a select group of English cricketers who made it to double figures, but a big score was necessary if Cook’s side were to chase
down such an impressive Indian total.
Both fell to Jadeja (4-28), before Chris Jordan’s day went from bad to worse. The Sussex seamer bowled 12 wides whilst India were at the crease, and then he only spent two balls in the middle himself before going for a duck.
Trent Bridge next
James Tredwell (10) was the last man out to secure a 133-run win for India. The result is in stark contrast to how the Test series between the sides ended, and Cook’s side will now look to bounce back at Trent Bridge on Saturday.
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