The hosts went 2-0 up, in the five match ODI series currently underway between England and India, on the back of a brilliant century by Virat Kohli, at Ferozeshah Kotla, in Delhi. Chasing a modest 238 to win, the hosts achieved the target, with eight wickets and nearly 14 overs to spare.
England began the game on the right foot, when they won the toss and elected to bat. But that optimism soon vanished, after they had lost both their openers without any runs on the board, with both the Kumars accounting for one each . despite another hiccup at 48/3 when Trott departed, becoming another scalp for Vinay Kumar, the innings appeared to be heading in the right direction, when Pietersen and Bopara got together to stitch a partnership that ended in the 25th over, when Ashwin had Bopara LBW. In the next over, Yadav had Pietersen caught behind, and suddenly, at 121/5, England were looking down the barrel.
That was followed by another useful partnership between Bairstow and Patel and when England were past the 200 mark, in the 41st over, without further loss of wickets, the question was, how close to 300 could they get? The visitors, almost by force of habit lost a pair of wickets, to leave them tottering at 211/7. thereafter, the England tail adopted a hit-and-miss approach that got them bowled out at the eventual score of 237, with 10 balls left in the innings.
For England, Pietersen was the top scorer with 46, in an innings in which several batsmen got going, only to throw away their wickets, after appearing to have settled down.
For India, Vinay Kumar was the most successful bowler, and took 4/30, his best ODI figures to date. Umesh Yadav chipped in with two wickets, while Ashwin, Jadeja and Praveen Kumar took one each.
While the score was never going to be enough against an Indian batting that revels in sub-continental conditions, Bresnan accounted for both openers, to raise hopes of an unlikely England fight back. With India on 29/2 in 6.5 overs, Gambhir was joined by Kohli, and the rest of the match was an exhibition of masterful batting against a none too penetrative England attack.
Both batsmen went from strength to strength, as they put together a partnership of 211 runs, and Virat Kohli used the opportunity to register his 7th century in his 66th ODI, eventually making an unbeaten 112 off 98 balls, with 16 fours. Gambhir, at the other end, played himself into form, getting 84 off 90 balls, with 10 hits to the fence.
Bresnan with 2/41 had the only bits of success with the ball, for the visitors, while every other bowler was treated with disdain by Kohli and Gambhir, including Graeme Swann who went for 52 runs in right overs.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.