Roy’s return gives England needed boost

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Jason Roy and James Vince make a good double act for England: Roy hits bowlers, Vince catches batters.

England revived its struggling Cricket World Cup campaign on Sunday with a 31-run win over previously unbeaten India, and opener Roy played a key role after missing three games with a left hamstring injury.

So did Vince, the man he replaced in the team, who took two catches as a substitute fielder because Roy was unable to field.

Roy, an explosive right-hander, smashed 66 before he was the first to depart in a 160-run opening partnership with Jonny Bairstow, who made 111.

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Roy appeared to run between the wickets competently but carefully.

But he did not come on to field during India’s innings. England said Roy took a blow on his forearm from India pacer Jasprit Bumrah.

“When he was batting, he got hit on the arm and had quite a big bruise. It is just a bruise, and he should be fine,” England captain Eoin Morgan said.

England called on Vince’s services and he ended up taking two catches off Liam Plunkett to dismiss two major threats from India — Virat Kohli for 66 and Hardik Pandya for 45

As well as his half century against India, Roy also hit 54 against South Africa in the tournament opener and blasted Bangladesh’s attack for 153 in 121 balls, including 14 boundaries and five sixes. That innings remains the second highest score of the tournament after David Warner’s 166, also against Bangladesh.

Roy has failed only once at this edition with 8 against Pakistan.

His return has also bolstered Bairstow in Morgan’s mind, the captain saying “They complement each other.”

“Obviously, having him back on the team is quite a big confidence booster for everybody, particularly when he plays like the way he did,” Morgan added. “He’s very intimidating, hard to bowl to, and he’s a gun player.”

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