India continued the excellent run at the 2023 World Cup as they defeated England by 100 runs in a low-scoring clash in Lucknow on Sunday.
On a sluggish pitch, India's batsmen struggled against disciplined English bowlers, stumbling their way to 229-9 as captain Rohit Sharma top-scored with 87.
That turned out to be more than enough, despite the heavy evening dew. Fast bowler Mohammad Shami was at his best once again, picking up 4-22 while pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah (3-32) was equally effective as England were bowled out for just 129.
The title holders are now more or less out of race for the last four with their fifth defeat in six games while the Indians are nearly guaranteed a place in the semi-finals with their sixth win in a row.
England's slide started when Bumrah got Dawid Malan to chop one back on to his stumps before he trapped Joe Root plumb lbw first ball with one that stayed low.
Mohammad Siraj was a bit off colour, so India went to the in-form Shami, who troubled Ben Stokes a number of times from round the wicket before beating a wild swing across the line to rearrange his stumps.
Jonny Bairstow looked a bit more assured but he too dragged Shami on.
As the evening dew settled in, all eyes were on India's spinners and whether they will be able to grip the ball. Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav allayed those fears and settled the match when he ripped one back into captain Jos Buttler to hit timber. England were 52-5 and it was almost game over.
From there, wickets fell at regular intervals and Bumrah ended the match in typical fashion – clean bowling Mark Wood with a yorker.
Earlier, India found the going tough from the first over itself as England’s opening bowlers David Willey and Chris Woakes swung and seamed the new ball.
Shubman Gill was castled through the gate by an in-cutter from Woakes. Virat Kohli scratched around for eight balls, hardly getting any timing before he tried to attack Willey and could only spoon a catch to mid-off.
Shreyas Iyer also perished to a similarly ungainly shot as the hosts were 40-3. Captain Sharma watched all this from the other end and although he was getting the boundaries, every England bowler was getting enough purchase from the wicket to keep the scoring down.
India enjoyed some respite in the middle overs as Sharma teamed up with KL Rahul to get some momentum going.
Part-time spinner Liam Livingstone was targeted by Sharma and Rahul and India seemed in control as they crossed three figures.
But the return of the Willey broke the promising stand as Rahul charged him and got caught off a top edge. At 131-4 in the 31st over, a score of even 250 seemed a long way away.
Suryakumar Yadav gave perfect company to Sharma as the two brought the innings back on track. But just as the hosts seemed to be coasting again, Adil Rashid induced a slog from the captain which was safely pouched at mid wicket. The captain made 87 from 101 balls with 10 fours and three sixes.
From there, Suryakumar added reasonable momentum to the innings, making 49 from 47 balls.
Willey (3-45) and Woakes (2-33) were the pick of the seamers for England while leg-spinner Rashid (2-35) bowled with excellent control.