India and England will square off in a massive contest in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in Edgbaston, Birmingham. The stakes are incredibly high for the hosts, who are facing a must-win situation. England currently is in the fourth position with eight points from seven games with only two matches remaining. India, on the other hand, needs only one more win to seal a spot in the semi-final. A loss for England will make their path to the last four incredibly hard. The situation for England is pretty similar to their situation 20 years ago when India and England were involved in a virtual knock-out clash in Edgbaston.
England had started the tournament well with a big win over the-then defending champions Sri Lanka but stumbled against South Africa. India had begun with a disastrous loss to South Africa and Zimbabwe. Mohammad Azharuddin’s side staged a revival and won against Kenya and Sri Lanka by big margins. The clash against England was a virtual knock-out, with the loser getting eliminated in the league stages.
The hosts chose to field and they started off well with Alan Mullally getting rid of Sadagoppan Ramesh for 20. Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid shared a solid partnership but Ganguly was run-out by Mark Ealham for 40. Sachin Tendulkar looked good but fell for 22 with Ealham getting his wicket. At the other end, Dravid was in good touch and notched up a wonderful fifty, continuing his great sequence when he smashed 104, 145 and now 53. When Dravid fell to Flintoff, Ajay Jadeja gave the innings a big boost with a 30-ball 39. The lower order failed as India reached 232/8, with Darren Gough, Mullally and Ealham taking two wickets apiece.
A total of 233 in that period was considered a tricky proposition and England started off in disastrous fashion, losing Alec Stewart and Graham Hick cheaply to Debasis Mohanty. Nasser Hussain and Graham Thorpe staged a revival and built a solid 59-run stand. However, there was rain in the air and England were looking to survive. However, in the 20th over, Hussain was bowled by Ganguly and he was furious as he walked off as he felt that the teams should have gone off earlier with the rain pelting down.
The rain continued and the match was halted. In this edition of the tournament, there was a reserve day and the match resumed from where it was stopped. On the second day resumption, Graham Thorpe was sent back LBW by Javagal Srinath as India closed in on a win. Neil Fairbrother and Andrew Flintoff looked to steady the innings but Ganguly and Anil Kumble were in top form. Ganguly took three wickets while Kumble struck twice. When Srinath removed Mullally for 0, India had registered a famous 63-run win.
The victory not only knocked England out of the tournament, but it also dumped Sri Lanka out as well. India was eliminated in the super-six stage after losing to Australia and New Zealand but won against Pakistan. However, India had enjoyed themselves in Edgbaston and they would be hoping for a repeat in 2019 as they look to make England’s path to the semi-final arduous.