The stage was always set for a thriller between India and England in this clash between the top 2 ranked sides in the competition. India entered the game at Edgbaston as favourites against a struggling England side in search of a win to remain in the running for a World Cup Semi Final spot.
Considering the importance of the game, and to celebrate the Royals’ close connection with the English players (Stokes, Buttler and Archer), the Royals hosted a live screening of the match in Central London for Indian and English fans.
Both English and Indian fans joined us in Victoria for the contest. The strong start from England did not dampen the spirits of the Indian fans and after a few vital wickets, India took back some control with the help of a 5-wicket haul from Shami. At the end of the innings the hosts were restricted to a chaseable 337-7 on a great batting wicket.
After a competitive total set by the hosts, the room began to overflow with Indian fans as they flooded in to watch the ‘Men in Blue,’ (or in this case orange) begin their chase. The stage was set for another Sharma masterclass. This was evident when the room erupted at Joe Root’s vital drop of the man in form at slip. Echoes of ‘make them pay for it’ echoed through the crowd as Rohit capitalised, as expected, on the Englishman’s mistake. The room erupted as Sharma reached his 2nd hundred in 2 games before a miracle catch from Woakes had him caught on the boundary.
When captain Virat walked out to the crease, the room was hooked, and every run scored was met with loud cheers and celebration. As always, he didn’t fail to disappoint with a classy 66 until he carved one into the hands of the replacement fielder, James Vince, at point. This was almost revenge for the masterful catch taken by Jadeja in the first innings, who was also serving as a substitute fielder.
After Kohli and Pandya were dismissed, the game started to slip beyond India’s reach, the Indian fans in the room began to subdue. As is always the case, the spirit of cricket prevailed and everyone remained to the end of the game to watch Dhoni see it through, and even in defeat the room applauded as our 3 Royals brought England their much-needed victory. Hopefully England manage to get through their game with New Zealand and we get to see more of our boys in action in the final four. India will surely be looking for revenge if they get the chance!