Delhi belly hits England
World champions India rattled England once again with bat and ball to win the second one-dayer by eight wickets on Monday and take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. Nilankar Das reports. Scorecardindia Updated: Oct 18, 2011 07:24 IST
After the fuss over the distribution of complimentary passes by the Delhi and District Cricket Association, the Ferozeshah Kotla was not even three-fourths full. But then there was no dearth of enthusiasm from those who turned up for the second one-dayer. The Mexican wave did its rounds with the decibels forever rising as India, led by local heroes Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli, inched closer to victory.
England did not score enough runs to allow both of them to get to three figures. Only Kohli got there in 89 balls with 14 fours. He went on to hit two more boundaries, the last one brought up the winning runs and he punched the air to reinstate India’s dominance.
Gambhir was stranded on an unbeaten 84 off 90 with 10 fours. Together they put up a 209 run stand in 179 balls as India took a 2-0 lead in the series with an eight-wicket win. They surpassed the previous best third-wicket stand of 175 at the Kotla by Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Azharuddin, against Sri Lanka, in the 1996 World Cup.
Both Gambhir and Kohli saw off a fiery spell by Steven Finn but then came into their own with deft placements and impeccable shot selection. They were helped by some sloppy fielding.
If Kohli's classy drives through cover were a treat, Gambhir's opening the bat face to guide the spinners behind point was delectable. Kohli's pulls to mid-wicket were forceful while Gambhir's wristy strokes to long on were vintage.
Kohli, with his inside-out shots through cover, had earlier got Graeme Swann to come round the wicket, winning the mind game over the off-spinner, who should have been happy to get the batsman play against the turn. But not on Monday and with 237 runs to defend.
After a poor display in the first one-dayer at Hyderabad, where England were bundled out for 174, on a better wicket on Monday the visitors lasted 48.2 overs, again failing to bat the full 50 overs.
Apprehension surrounding the Kotla wicket grew when the surface remained covered till about 15 minutes before the toss. But it was put to rest when the first ball carried nicely to Mahendra Singh Dhoni. It was one of the best wickets since the abandoned match against Sri Lanka in December 2009.
There was some life in the pitch provided the bowlers hit the right line and length and it was evident when England managed to get off the mark only in the third over, losing both openers on the way.
The three medium-pacers shared seven wickets with R Vinay Kumar returning with four scalps. The Karnataka bowler was spot on in his first spell of 6-1-20-2, his out-swingers and change of pace forcing England on the back-foot.