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Reece Topley enjoys record-breaking display as England level series with India
The Surrey left-armer finished with six for 24 to claim England’s best-ever ODI figures.
Reece Topley produced record-breaking figures of six for 24 as England marked the third anniversary of their World Cup triumph with a 100-run win over India at Lord’s.
As on that unforgettable occasion in 2019 it was a low-scoring affair, but while England needed a super over and a boundary countback to beat New Zealand to the trophy, here a destructive performance from Topley was enough to make 246 a winning total.
The Surrey left-armer had never taken a five-wicket haul in international cricket but broke that streak at the 29th attempt and added one more to claim England’s best-ever ODI figures – edging Paul Collingwood’s six for 31 in 2005.
He struck in three different phases of the game, topping and tailing the innings and also striking in the middle overs.
England had earlier scrapped their way to a vulnerable looking first-innings score, with Moeen Ali top-scoring with a hard-fought 47.
After capitulating for 110 at the Kia Oval 48 hours earlier, England were once again asked to bat first, with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami dangerous with the new balls, beating both edges and finding early seam off the surface. But while England folded to 26 for five in the previous game, here Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow scrapped sufficiently to share an opening stand of 41.
Roy never quite seemed at ease, barring one big heave for six, but would have been kicking himself for seeing off the strike bowlers then chipping Hardik Pandya’s leg-stump half-volley to deep square.
Bairstow was more composed as he made a run-a-ball 38 but lost his middle stump to Chahal as he aimed a full-blooded slog-sweep at the bowler. He was not alone in mis-reading the wrist-spinner, who caused havoc with his subtle shifts in speed and trajectory.
Root and Stokes are arguably England’s two best players of spin but were both lbw after being deceived through the air. Root was too early on one that was tossed higher, while Stokes picked up two fours on the reverse-sweep before being pinned on the back leg attempting a third.
Captain Jos Buttler bucked the trend by falling to seam, bowled fifth ball by the returning Shami, and at 102 for five the situation was perilous. But Moeen read the room, shelving some of his more aggressive instincts to lead stands of 46 with Liam Livingstone and 62 with David Willey.
Livingstone (33) was suckered in by Pandya’s short-ball tactics but Willey made the most of being dropped on one to chip in a vital 41.
There were a couple of reminders of Moeen’s ball-striking ability, not least when he launched Prisadh Krishna out of the ground, but he leant more readily on safer shots. He was within one boundary of a first fifty since 2017 when he holed out to Chahal.
With a sub-250 total England needed a strong start and got it from their twin left-armers Willey and Topley. The first scoring shot did not come until midway through the fifth over, by which point Rohit Sharma had already fallen lbw to Topley for a 10-ball duck.
Shikhar Dhawan barely fared better, scratching out nine from 26 balls then gloving Topley down leg. Having watched the top two put on a dominant stand of 114 on Tuesday, England had cut the head off the snake.
With dot balls racking up, India continued to waver under pressure, Brydon Carse serving up a full-toss loosener to Rishabh Pant only to see a tame catch punch back to mid-on. Much now lay on Virat Kohli’s shoulders but, two smooth drives aside, he could not deliver.
His long wait for an international century is well-documented but Willey’s exuberant celebration when he nicked off for 16 showed how high his stock remains among opposition.
From 31 for four, the road back was a long one for India and it became even more arduous when Buttler called Topley back into the attack. His hunch paid off immediately, with Suryakumar Yadav mis-reading the bounce as he dragged a cut into his stumps.
India never looked like troubling the total from there and when Pandya was caught in the deep slogging Moeen it left too much for the tail to do. Topley took it upon himself to finish the job in emphatic style as he laid waste to the lower order.
A slower ball did for Shami, Chahal was clean bowled by one tossed up to the stumps and Collingwood’s record fell when Krishna edged behind in the 39th over.