Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma racked up a century stand as they led India’s pursuit of a record World Cup chase, with England’s bowlers searching for the breakthrough that could keep their semi-final hopes afloat.
Asked to make 338, the tournament’s largest ever run chase, the Indian duo saw their side to 120 for one at the halfway mark of the innings at Edgbaston.
Roared on by a crowd heavily weighted towards the away team, Kohli (63no) and Rohit (57no) were making serene progress with 25 overs remaining.
The hosts had earlier posted 337 for seven, Jonny Bairstow capping a turbulent week in the headlines with a fine 111 and Ben Stokes continuing his impressive form with 79.
Jason Roy, back after three games out with a torn hamstring, also hit form with an assured 66 but the stakes were nerve-shreddingly high with England’s place at the tournament effectively on the line.
Three consecutive boundaries for Rohit Sharma!
India are beginning to accelerate. What can England do to find a breakthrough?
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 30, 2019
India opener Rohit should have gone for just four but when he followed a wide ball from Jofra Archer, the thick edge was badly dropped by Joe Root.
Chris Woakes got his side up and running soon after, sending KL Rahul back for a duck with a caught and bowled off the leading edge, but as long as Kohli and Rohit were together the game lay in the balance.
The duo are ranked one and two in the world in this format by the International Cricket Council and, once they weathered a testing start, they began forcing home their credentials.
Kohli reached his half-century in 59 balls, improving in confidence the longer he remained, with Rohit following him to the landmark in 65 deliveries.