Report: India vs England – 2nd ODI
Scintillating batting efforts from MS Dhoni (72) and Ravindra Jadeja (61*) backed by disciplined bowling helped India draw level (1-1) in the five-ODI series against England. The hosts emerged victorious by 127 runs in Kochi.
Chasing 286 in conditions that helped pacers and spinners alike, England folded for 158 in 36 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the pick of India’s bowlers, clocking figures of 3/29 in his 10 overs. R Ashwin also picked up three wickets and Jadeja followed up his half-century with bowling figures of 2/12 in seven overs.
When the England openers came out to bat, Shami Ahmed got the new ball to swing and seam. In the second over of the innings – his first – he had Ian Bell caught behind with an away-going delivery. A healthy partnership ensued between Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen and it ended on 54 when the England captain was trapped lbw by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Kevin Pietersen looked ominous during his 44-ball knock, once hitting Shami for three fours in an over – he stroked seven balls to the fence in all. Just as Pietersen looked set to take the game away from India, Kumar produced a peach of a delivery to get rid of him for 42. It pitched on good length and seamed back into Pietersen to brush on to his bat on its way to the stumps.
A ball later, Kumar got the new batsman, Eoin Morgan, caught behind for a duck. It was a maiden double-wicket over from the young seamer. After 19 overs, England were 77/4 and Kumar’s figures read 10-2-29-3.
India’s sole specialist spinner, R Ashwin, got the ball in the 24th over. With Yuvraj Singh and Ravindra Jadeja also on song, the Indian spinners took charge of the England innings and helped their team to a 127-run triumph.
Earlier, India openers got the team to a disastrous start. It was ironic that the batsmen known for their nimble footwork, perished for the sheer lack of it. With their feet planted firmly, Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane presented enough of a gap between bat and body for the ball to sneak on to the stumps. Jade Dernbach and Steven Finn were rewarded for bowling fine incoming deliveries to Gambhir and Rahane respectively.
Virat Kohli (37) and Yuvraj Singh (32) faired a little better, but they too got out to poor shots. Yuvraj was trapped lbw trying to slog-sweep a full delivery from James Tredwell, although replays showed he might have gloved it; while Kohli holed out in the deep.
India were 119/4 in 26.2 overs and runs seemed hard to come by. England bowlers kept their hold in the middle overs, although MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina preserved their wickets well.
Raina, in particular, was impressive in the way he moulded his game to the team’s needs. He took his time and built his 55-run knock brick by brick. His two fours came off deft touches through backward point and third-man, and two of his slog-sweeps went for six runs. However, when the time came for Raina to reap the rewards of his hard work, he perished, once again, missing a slog-sweep; Finn bowled him out.
Raina departed in the 40th over and Dhoni was then joined by Ravindra Jadeja. Thus began the match-changing partnership of 96 runs (off 60 balls). It started off with nurdles and nudges, before taking form of a brute attack.
Dhoni hit his first boundary, a smack down the ground, off the 31st ball he faced. In his next 35 deliveries, he found the fence eight more times, delighting the Kochi crowd with some high-flying helicopter shots. He brought up his fifty with one of them – a mighty swivel and turn of the wrists for a four straight down the ground. There were some cuts and mid-wicket heaves as well in Dhoni’s seven fours and two sixes.
Jadeja’s innings picked up pace too. He began the assault with a 14-run over from Chris Woakes that included two fours and a six, and finished off with a 20-run final over – including a six off the last ball – from jade Dernbach to take India to 285.
Brief scores: India 285/6 (MS Dhoni 72; Ravindra Jadeja 61*; Steven Finn 2/51) beat England 158 all out (Kevin Pietersen 42; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/29; R Ashwin 3/39) by 127 runs
Man of the Match: Ravindra Jadeja for his all-round contribution – a knock of 61 unbeaten runs in 37 balls and bowling figures of 7-1-12-2