KOCHI, Jan 15 (PTI): India finally found their winning touch as they relied on a brilliant all-round display to thrash England by an emphatic 127 runs in the second cricket one-dayer here today.
India first posted a competitive 285, riding on captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 72 and Ravindra Jadeja’s 61, before the bowlers skittled out the visitors for a paltry 158 in just 36 overs to level the five-match series 1-1.
It was a convincing and morale-boosting victory for the Indians who have struggled of late even in home conditions, losing the ODI series to arch-rivals Pakistan and the Test series against England.
The hosts did well in all departments of the game, though the batting of the top order continued to be a concern with Gautam Gambhir (8) and Ajinkya Rahane (4) failing to deliver while the form of Virat Kohli remained patchy though he scored 37 today.
It was Dhoni’s 66-ball 72 and Jadeja’s blistering unbeaten knock of 61 in just 37 balls which provided the late flourish to the Indian innings. Suresh Raina (55) and Yuvraj Singh (32), who was distinctly unlucky to be given LBW, were the other notable contributors.
With the Nehru Stadium providing ample assistance to the bowlers in the second half, the Indians exploited the conditions to the hilt to bundle out the visitors with Kevin Pietersen being the top-scorer with a 58-ball 42.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/29), R Ashwin (3/39) and Jadeja (2/12) were the pick of the Indian bowlers to give the hosts a resounding victory in front of a capacity crowd.
The two teams will now travel to Ranchi for the third one-dayer to be played on January 19.
It was rookie Shami Ahmed who gave India an early breakthrough with the wicket of Ian Bell (1) who chased a wide ball which pitched up and swung, only to take an edge to Dhoni in the second over of the England run chase.
As if taking revenge for Bell’s wicket, England captain Alastair Cook punished Shami for two fours in the fourth over and Pietersen joined his skipper by carting the same bowler for three boundaries three overs later.
England were scoring at a brisk pace, more than five an over, and Ishant Sharma’s introduction in the 10th over did not stop the flow of runs and the pacer was greeted with two boundaries by Pietersen.
Just as England looked like settling down after the initial jolt, Bhuvneshawr Kumar rocked the visitors run chase with a double strike in three deliveries.
Cook, who was looking solid, missed a good length delivery off Kumar, the first ball of the 11th over, and the umpire signalled the dismissal of the batsman. Cook’s 17 came from 27 balls and was studded with three boundaries.
India: Rahane b Finn 4, Gambhir b Dernbach 8, Kohli c Bell b Woakes 37, Yuvraj lbw b Tredwell 32, Raina b Finn 55, Dhoni c Root b Dernbach 72, Jadeja not out 61, Ashwin not out 1. Extras: (LB-5, W-10) 15. Total: (For 6 wkts; 50 overs) 285. Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-18, 3-71, 4-119, 5-174, 6-270. Bowling: Steven Finn 10-1-51-2, Jade Dernbach 9-0-73-2, Chris Woakes 9-0-60-1, Samit Patel 10-0-43-0, James Tredwell 10-0-48-1, Joe Root 2-0-0-5.
England: Cook lbw b Kumar 17, Bell c Dhoni b Shami Ahmed 1, Pietersen b Kumar 42, Root b Jadeja 36, Morgan c Dhoni b Kumar 0, Kieswetter c Raina b Ashwin 18, Patel not out 30, Woakes lbw b Jadeja 0, Tredwell lbw b Ashwin 1, Finn c Dhoni b Ashwin 0, Dernbach run out (Jadeja/Dhoni) 2. Extras: (B-4, LB-3, W-4) 11. Total: (For 10 wickets; 36 overs) 158. Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-58, 3-73, 4-73, 5-110, 6-132, 7-132, 8-135, 9-135. Bowling: Kumar 10-2-29-3, Ahmed 4-1-24-1, Ishant 4-0-28-0, Jadeja 7-1-12-2, Yuvraj 4-0-19-0, Ashwin 7-0-39-3.