PUNE: Skipper Virat Kohli smashed a majestic 122 while Kedar Jadhav conjured up a career-best 120 before India’s lower middle-order held nerves to pull off an incredible three-wicket win over England in the first One-day International, here today.
Kohli and Jadhav rattled up a sensational 200-run partnership for the fifth wicket to set up the platform after England set the hosts a stiff 351-run target.
Chips were down for India after losing four wickets for just 63 runs but Kohli and Jadhav scripted a comeback with their gritty batting as Mahendra Singh Dhoni (6) and Yuvraj Singh (15) could not contribute much in the chase.
India required 60 runs from the last 10 overs after the fall of both Kohli and Jadhav but Hardik Pandya ensured that their good work does not go waste with his responsible unbeaten 40-run innings.
Pandya saw Ravindra Jadeja losing his wicket in the 45th over but the young all-rounder kept his cool to steer India to the finish line. He hit a six off Adil Rashid to level the scores and R Ashwin finished it in style, hammering Moeen Ali into the stands in the first ball of the 49th over.
India have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series with the next match scheduled in Cuttack on January 19.
England had feasted on a listless Indian bowling to pile up 350 for seven, their highest total in ODIs against India with Joe Root (78), opener Jason Roy (73) and Ben Stokes (62) striking half-centuries.
The score bettered the 338 for eight made by England in the tied encounter of the 2011 World Cup in Bengaluru but today’s effort proved insufficient. (AGENCIES)