Monday, 17 October 2011

Cricket: India take 2-0 lead over England

Seam bowler Vinay Kumar's career-best haul of 4-30 helped India earn a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over England in the second one-day international to take a 2-0 lead in the five-game series.

Kumar helped the home side bowl England out for 237-8 in 48.2 overs, after which Virat Kohli (112 not out) and Gautam Gambhir (84 not out) figured in an unbroken 209-run stand that took India to 238-2 in only 36.4 overs.

The partnership between Kohli and Gambhir, the highest for the third wicket at the venue, helped a depleted India side consolidate its position in a bid to win the series and make up for a forgettable recent tour of England when it failed to register a single win.

Kohli struck 16 fours off 98 balls during his seventh one-day century and Gambhir 10 fours off 90 as the Delhi pair settled well to find the gaps and were also helped by some sloppy fielding.

The duo made up for the early dismissals of openers Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane, who were both removed during a lively spell by pace bowler Tim Bresnan.

"It is good to see our players take responsibility,'' India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said.

"Kohli has been batting brilliantly and I hope he continues to bat the way he has been batting.''

Dhoni added that batting second suited his side.

"We would have elected to field any way, so losing the toss did not make a difference. The conditions are a lot different here than in England and we've been confident of doing well in the series,'' Dhoni said.

Earlier, Vinay Kumar bagged two early wickets to jolt the top order and then came back to take two more as England struggled after electing to bat.

For England, several batsmen started well but failed to reach imposing individual scores.

Kevin Pietersen was the highest scorer with 46 while Samit Patel made 42. Ravi Bopara (36), Jonny Bairstow (35) and Jonathan Trott (34) were the other main contributors to the touring side's innings.

England's most valuable stand was worth 86 as Patel and Bairstow lent respectability to the total with their sixth-wicket association.

Patel struck two fours and two sixes off 53 balls before he was trapped lbw by Yadav. Bairstow fell to a well-judged catch at long-off by Virat Kohli off left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.

England had earlier recovered through a 73-run fourth-wicket stand between Pietersen and Bopara after the Indian seamers got early breakthroughs.

Praveen Kumar had captain Alastair Cook caught at point in the first over of the innings as the batsman slashed at a short delivery, while Vinay Kumar induced an edge from Craig Kieswetter who was caught at slip by Kohli in the next over.

Trott seemed intent on carrying on positively, once striking three consecutive fours off Praveen Kumar, but was caught behind by Dhoni off Vinay Kumar as England was reduced to 48-3.

Pietersen and Bopara repaired the damage and had looked well set when they were dismissed in quick succession.

Bopara was trapped lbw by off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and Pietersen was out three deliveries later as Dhoni took a low catch to his right off Yadav. Pietersen, who hammered Jadeja for two consecutive sixes, also smashed three fours during his 53-ball innings.

"It's a bit sad to lose heavily twice, it is a concern for us,'' Cook said. "Losing heavily once is fine but it's now happened twice.''

But Cook said England, which had lost the first game in Hyderabad by 126 runs, could still turn it around.

"We have prepared well but we have to produce it in the middle. The conditions obviously play a huge part. Just as India struggled in England, we are struggling in India.

"We have the players who have the talent to turn it around for us, but we have to produce it out there. We just have to stick to basics,'' Cook said.

India has been without key players Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan in the first two games due to injuries. AP

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