Rahul century leads India to dominant win over England

India batsman KL Rahul plays a shot against England

First T20, Old Trafford:
England 159-8 (20.0 overs): Buttler 69, Kuldeep 5-24
India 163-2 (18.2 overs): KL Rahul 101*
India won by eight wickets

KL Rahul hit a sublime unbeaten century to lead India to a dominant eight-wicket victory over a chastened England in the first Twenty20 at Old Trafford.

Set 160 to win, Rahul’s 101 off 54 balls eased the tourists to their target, captain Virat Kohli completing an emphatic chase with a six.

Kuldeep Yadav took 5-24, including three wickets in one over, as England’s middle order collapsed.

Jos Buttler made 69 and David Willey’s late hitting took them to 159-8.

But it proved far too little as India cruised home with 10 balls to spare.

India take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, with the second T20 in Cardiff at 17:30 BST on Friday.

England outclassed

After following up a 5-0 whitewash in the ODI series against Australia with a comfortable win in the one-off T20, England were found wanting against vastly superior white-ball opponents in India.

That supremacy was epitomised by Rahul, who showed tremendous touch and timing when driving through the off-side, complemented by brutal power to hit five sixes in his second T20 international century.

He was dropped on 17 by Jason Roy at backward point, while he also survived on 37 when Chris Jordan spilled a much tougher chance, but England created little else.

India were so comfortable that when Rohit Sharma fell for 32, picking out Eoin Morgan at cover off Rashid, Rahul and Kohli could just knock around singles in a sedate conclusion.

England’s spinners tormented Australia so the hosts will be concerned by the ease with which India’s middle order largely played them – although Rashid finished with respectable figures of 1-25, Moeen Ali conceded 37 off just 14 balls.

And on a flat surface, perhaps more Mumbai than Manchester after being baked by the recent hot weather, England will hope this does not set a precedent for the tourists feeling very much at home over the next three months.

More to follow.

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BBC Sport – Cricket

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