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Bhuvneshwar Kumar (left) celebrates after stumping England batsman Kevin Pietersen during the second ODI in Kochi, yesterday.
NEW DELHI: 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 yesterday.
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.
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 yesterday.
It was Dhoni’s 66-ball 72 and Jadeja’s blistering unbeaten knock of 61 in just 37 balls which provided the late flourish. 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.
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.
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.
Two balls later, Kumar dealt a massive jolt to England innings by taking the wicket of Pietersen with a gem of a delivery. Pietersen was bowled off a sharp incutter which, after pitching at good length, jagged past the inside edge of the batsman’s angled bat before crashing onto the wickets.
Pietersen’s 42 came from 44 balls and was studded with seven fours.
Kumar returned four overs later to remove Eoin Morgan for a duck with captain Dhoni holding a superb, low catch to his left to leave England at 73 for four in the 15th over.
The quick jolts led England to slow down with Joe Root (36) and Craig Kieswetter (18) trying to consolidate rather than being adventurous and at the halfway mark they were 106 for four with the asking rate shooting over seven an over.
Jadeja returned in the 31st over for a double strike as he removed Root and Chris Woakes (0) in the space of four balls to leave England tottering at 132 for seven.
Ravichandran Ashwin, played his part with three wickets in his two overs as he polished off James Tredwell (1), Steven Finn (0) and Jade Dernbach (2). AGENCIES