This day that year: India lose World Cup 2019 match to England triggering Pakistan conspiracy theories

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India’s unbeaten run in World Cup 2019 came to an end on this day last year (June 30) when they were comfortably outclassed by hosts England at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

From the toss, everything went England’s way as Eoin Morgan opted to bat after which Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow tore into India’s new-ball attack.

Roy made 66 and Bairstow 111 as the England openers added 160 runs in just 22.1 overs for the opening wicket. A quickfire 79 from Ben stokes and 20 from skipper Morgan helped England post 337 in 50 overs.

20 singles, 7 dots, 3 fours, 1 six: India’s last 5 overs

What followed was a chase that was ‘strange’ as India managed just 306 runs in their quota of 50 overs despite a hundred from Rohit Sharma and 66 from captain Virat Kohli.

MS Dhoni, who has not played competitive cricket since the World Cup, was slammed for his approach along with Kedar Jadhav as the duo added just 39 runs in the last 5.1 overs wherein India needed 71 runs.

During the partnership between Dhoni and Jadhav, there were 20 singles, 7 dots, 3 fours and a lone six over a 31-ball period.

How India’s defeat changed the World Cup fortunes for England, Pakistan

England had headed into the India clash on the back of back-to-back defeats to Australia and Sri Lanka. The hosts were in a must-win situation but the win against India brightened their chances and they eventually made the semi-final after beating New Zealand in their final group-stage match.

On the other hand, Pakistan’s chances of making the semi-final took a huge blow as they were left with what proved to be an impossible equation in their final group game against Bangladesh.

Pakistan were eventually knocked out after they finished 5th on the group-stage standings tied on points with 4th-placed New Zealand. Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men lost out on Net Run Rate in the end.

New Zealand were joined by England, India and Australia in the semi-finals.

When Pakistan cricketers accused India of deliberately losing to England

Ever since India’s defeat on June 30, several Pakistan cricketers have accused India of losing the match to England deliberately to hamper Pakistan’s chances of reaching the semi-final.

As recently as June 2020, former Pakistan all-rounder Abul Razzaq said he has no doubts India lost their World Cup match to England deliberately.

“There is no doubt about this – we said this before and all cricketers are saying that – as I said, you can see this clearly; For a person like Dhoni who can hit a six or a four at will, he is blocking the ball then that is easy to see,” Razzaq said when asked if India lost to England on purpose, as quoted by PakPassion.

Former leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed had claimed that a few West Indies players told him that India did not want to see Pakistan in the semi-finals.

“I was working with the West Indies squad at last year’s World Cup. After India’s loss to England, Jason Holder, Chris Gayle and Andre Russell said to me, Mushy, India didn’t want to see Pakistan qualify for the semi-final,” Ahmed said.

Ben Stokes on ‘twisting of words’

England all-rounder Ben Stokes, in his new book ‘On Fire’ had described India’s loss, saying it was strange to see MS Dhoni approach the chase the way he did.

In his new book ‘On Fire’ published by Headline Books and distributed by Hachette India, Stokes analysed each of England’s games in the World Cup.

“Arguably, the way MS Dhoni played when he came in with 112 runs needed from 11 overs was even stranger. He appeared more intent on singles than sixes. Even with a dozen balls remaining, India could still have won.

“…there was little or no intent from him (Dhoni) or his partner Kedar Jadhav. To me, while victory is still possible you always go for broke.”

However, Ben Stokes had to clarify on social media when former Pakistan bowler Sikander Bakht claimed that the England all-rounder had said India lost to England deliberately.

When a social media user asked where to find Stokes’s comments regarding the same, the player himself responded by writing: “You won’t find it cause I have never said it… it’s called “twisting of words” or “clickbait”.

Think a little and have some shame: When Aakash Chopra hit back

Former India opener Aakash Chopra recently slammed the criticism that came India’s way, urging the Pakistan players ‘to have some shame’ before making accusations.

“Think a little and have some shame. Waqar Younis, despite being the brand ambassador for the ICC, gave a statement during the World Cup that India threw the match away on purpose. I mean seriously,” Chopra said on his Youtube channel.

“It is understandable if the partnership between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma didn’t make sense to Stokes or if he was confused by Dhoni’s approach towards the end. But he never said that India deliberately lost the match.

“Former Pakistani cricketers are openly saying that India lost deliberately and ICC should fine them. How can you think like that? It was more important for India to top the group at that time.”

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