England collapse in Kochi as India level series
Posted on 4 months ago
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KOCHI (Agencies): India roared back to level the ODI series against England at 1-1 thanks to a 127-run victory in Kochi.
India won the toss and batted first on a hot afternoon in the south of the country in front of a packed ground of 70,000 fans. They started slowly, but led by some late fireworks from MS Dhoni (72 from 66 balls) and Ravi Jadeja (61 not out from 37), they posted a strong total of 285 for six from their 50 overs.
England built steadily after the early loss of in-form Ian Bell, but when Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan in a double-wicket maiden they never fully recovered. And in the end, with 14 overs unused and crumbling to a score of 158 all out, it was a poor performance from the tourists having upset the hosts in the first game. The five-match series continues with another day/night game in Ranchi on Saturday.
England, who replaced Tim Bresnan with Chris Woakes as the former was struggling with a niggle, must have been happy with their start, with Jade Dernbach and Steven Finn clean-bowling Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane respectively to leave India teetering at 18-2.
Virat Kohli (37) and Yuvraj Singh (32) rebuilt the innings carefully, but the tourists held control of the run rate throughout. Kohli gifted his wicket to Woakes, while James Tredwell picked up the wicket of Yuvraj via a poor lbw decision - replays showed he had hit the ball.
Suresh Raina (55) posted another half-century in the series, but it was only once India got into the final 10 overs of their innings that they cut loose. Dhoni and Jadeja added 108 in the final 60 balls, raining boundaries down as Alastair Cook tried in vain to shuffle his bowling options around. Even the wicket of Dhoni with four balls remaining made little difference - Jadeja finished the innings with a four-four-six in an over that cost Dernbach 20 runs.
England began badly - Bell has scored heavily every time he has represented England on this tour, and fell to India seamer Shami Ahmed chasing a wide ball with one run to his name - but they regrouped. Cook, together with Pietersen, settled into a rhythm and were moving along at the pace required to reel in India's score. The skipper fell for 17, unlucky to be given out lbw to Kumar since the ball pitched outside leg stump.
But it was Pietersen's loss that was most keenly felt. He had looked in sublime touch, stroking seven boundaries in a 44-ball 42, but was undone by a ball from Kumar that jagged in sharply. Two balls later, Morgan followed edging to Dhoni.
Joe Root, playing his first knock at ODI level, and Craig Kieswetter combined as the innings ground to a halt. At one point the duo added five runs in five overs - but just as it looked as if they had raised themselves out of their malaise, Kieswetter offered the softest of catches off the bowling of Ravi Ashwin to midwicket when on 18, and when Root perished on 36, bowled by Jadeja, the game was all but up.
Woakes, a capable batsman, departed for a duck three balls later, while James Tredwell (one) and Steven Finn (duck) fell in successive balls to Ashwin.
Patel took the batting powerplay and hit a defiant unbeaten 30, including 18 in four balls against Ashwin, but as he tried to retain the strike he left Dernbach too much to do to make his ground. But by then the damage was long-done.
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