World news – Bairstow was thrilled to inspire England with a noble century


Belfast Telegraph



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David Charlesworth

Jonny Bairstow’s great century and a heavy blow of 99 from Ben Stokes ensured that England wrapped up the streak with a thrilling chase in their second one-day international against India.

Faced with a stiff target of 337, England’s fearless front runner ripped out pieces to lead the series to a Sunday finisher. The tourists smashed 20 sixes between them and left 39 balls unused as they made India’s previous efforts look like a no-brainer.

Bairstow’s 124 was the centerpiece, his 11th ODI hundred a great combination of clean punch confidence, while Stokes missed a century of his own after a raging bolt of lightning that knocked him off the ropes ten times.

It hit number 3 in Joe Roots’ usual slot, going from 50 to 99 in just 11 deliveries before a staggering barrel denied it a staggering ton. England indulged in a late wobble, with Stokes, Bairstow and Jos Buttler falling in a handful of deliveries, but the frenzied score the top three left behind meant the hard work was already done.

It was proof of England’s strength that debutants Liam Livingstone and Dawid Malan put the finishing touches on, both replacing Eoin Morgan and Sam Billings.

Bairstow, named Man of the Game, said: « It was disappointing to have missed a century in the last game, but I’m delighted to cross the finish line in this game. It was exactly the same in the game last game when I thought we were excellent and way ahead of the run rate.

« It was exactly the same game plan to put them under pressure, the pitch was good. We saw Ben play some pretty entertaining punches on the floor and it was all about getting him on strike on the other end. « 

He said, » I had overs in the first eight by around eight Fighting balls while Jason on the other end went up all guns in flames. The last time it was me who got off to a slightly faster start. The relationship is great, it may last for a long time. « Continue. »

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