The penultimate group game of the ICC World Cup 2019. It was a must-win fixture for England and what was to follow was a nerve-wrecking day of world-class entertainment at Edgbaston.
Warwickshire and England all-rounder Chris Woakes remembers the day well and a day that got England’s soon to be successful World Cup campaign back on track.
“The build-up around the ground that morning was really exciting,” Woakes remembers. “I feel like the roads were packed as we made our way to the ground.
“It felt like a different vibe as it was a really important game for both teams, but definitely for us who had to win. There was an incredible atmosphere around the ground, the sun was shining and a huge day at Edgbaston was in store for us.”
The nerves of the England players and fans alike were settled a little by a blistering opening partnership between Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow, who put on 160 for the first wicket as the hosts set India a daunting 338 to win.
But the match certainly wasn’t won, yet.
“Taking early wickets was really important and keeping it very tight,” Woakes added. “What then laid ahead was a really exciting game.
One moment in particular stands out for Woakes and many fans when the all-rounder claimed a decisive and spectacular catch on the boundary.
“I remember being really focused on the moment and I was really in the game. Playing against Rishabh Pant before I know he’s a dangerous player for the India team.
“I almost had that vision that the ball would come at some point during that over. I was switched on thankfully, ran round and put the full-length dive in and fortunately it stuck.
“I will never forget that I didn’t get a massive roar as there was a lot of India fans in that corner, but it was a great moment for me and a huge moment for the team.”
England went on to win by 31 runs and, as they say, the rest is history as Eoin Morgan’s men lifted the World Cup at Lord’s two weeks later.
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