LIAM LIVES THE DREAM
Four years since playing in a couple of T20 games for England, Barrow’s Liam Livingstone yesterday made his one day International debut for England.
With Sam Billings out injured, Livingstone was given the nod for the game against India in Pune. Prematch fellow Cumbrian Ben Stokes had called Livingstone impressive in training and fearless and was confident he was ready for the step up.
Batting first, India looked to have set a stiff target of 336-6 with Rahul ‘s 108 off 114 balls being the highlight.
England aren’t ranked No 1 in the one day game for nothing though, and whilst India had been slow and steady in building their total, England sprinted out of the blocks with the swagger we have now come to expect from them.
Openers Bairstow and Roy posted a quickfire 110 before Roy was run out. If the openers were impressive, Bairstow and Stokes took it to a new level with their second wicket stand of 175 at nine runs an over.
When Stokes lost his wicket at the dreaded 99 quickly followed by Bairstow and Buttler nerves might have been jangling in the England dressing room, however Livingstone joined Malan in the centre and soon steadied the ship. Livingstone’s back-to-back sixes off Bhuvneshwar being the highlight as the two batsmen with just one ODI cap between them guided England over the finish line to tie the series 1-1. Livingstone ended the game 27 not out off 33 balls and is now bang in contention for Sunday’s decider.