It was another night of disappointment for the English side as they narrowly lost the second One Day International after captain Eoin Morgan’s century gave them hopes of chasing the mammoth total of 381 that India had managed to post. Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni provided glimpses of their old selves, scoring twin hundreds on a pitch that showed early promise to the bowlers but soon proved to be a flat graveyard.
Sportwalk takes you through the details of this run feast that saw totals of over 350 being scored in both innings, and India edging past South Africa, achieving the feat for a record 23rd time in ODI history.
Losing Kohli early
In what was a rare failure for the Indian skipper, Kohli got out to a soft dismissal after hitting a couple of boundaries against Woakes, who had already accounted for the wicket of Rahul in the same over. There was early swing on offer, that helped him send Dhawan back to the pavilion in his next over.
A partnership to remember
India were found tottering with only a score of 25 for the loss of three when Dhoni came in to join Yuvraj at the crease. The duo, that has stitched together several match-winning partnerships in the past, gave an impending sense of nostalgia to the viewers scoring at will and making the English bowling look toothless in its approach. After a start that was considered slow, the two revved up the engine to blow away the bowlers in a show of precision and power.
They did seem to have a specific plan against Yuvraj — trying to bounce him out with short balls — the Southpaw seemed to have done his homework as anything remotely short was dispatched to the boundary in trademark fashion. Dhoni brushed apart some early struggle and notched up his 10th ODI ton soon after Yuvraj.
The latter, in what was an emotional moment having made a comeback after so long, was caught with tears in his eyes as he looked to the heavens, and pumped his chest to celebrate his century.
The lower order push
After Yuvraj was dismissed in the 43rd over, it was left to Dhoni and the inexperienced lower order to make full use of the third powerplay. And boy, they did! India scored 100 runs in the final seven overs of the innings as Kedar Jadhav (22 from 10), Hardik Pandya (19* from 9) and Ravindra Jadeja (16* from 8) came all guns blazing to provide the final flourish.
Another good start
England got off to a great start with Jason Roy and Joe Root coming together for a 100-run partnership after Hales was dismissed early, caught behind by Dhoni off the bowling of Bumrah. They cruised to a score of 150 for the loss of two wickets after Ashwin dismissed Root soon after the batsman scored his 19th ODI fifty.
The middle order conundrum
After another start that provided them with the perfect platform to go on and chase the total, the infamous middle order conundrum came to the foray once more as England lost the wickets of Roy, Stokes and Buttler in a span of six overs. Ashwin had spun his web of magic, again. The scorecard read 206 for the loss of five when Moeen Ali came in to accompany Eoin Morgan at the crease.
So close, yet so far
Moeen Ali and Eoin Morgan then gave meaning to the chase, playing sensible but free flowing cricket as the Indian bowlers were left wondering if they could indeed, defend the huge total. As both batsmen scored at a strike rate of well over hundred, the panic seemed evident in the hosts’ body language.
England had almost raced to a team total of 300 when Moeen was dismissed by a well-crafted yorker from Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the 44th over.
England needed 82 runs off 39 balls and with Eoin Morgan still at the crease, it seemed possible. The wicket of Woakes did not stop the man as he showed controlled aggression under pressure, taking his team close with each over that passed. But some tight bowling, coupled with Morgan’s run out in the penultimate over all but ensured that India won the match and clinched the three-match series with a game to spare.
India: 381/6 (50 overs)
Yuvraj: 150 (127), Dhoni: 134 (122)
Woakes: 4-60 (10)
England: 366/8 (50 overs)
Eoin Morgan: 102 (81), Roy: 82 (73)
Ashwin: 3-65 (10)