Kochi: A spirited bowling performance led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar initiated India's massive 127-run win over England in the second one-dayer at Kochi on Tuesday. With this victory, India level the five-match series 1-1.
Chasing a target of 286, England were all out for 158 in 36 overs. Bhuvneshwar and R Ashwin claimed three wickets each, while Ravindra Jadeja took two crucial wickets in an over to put England out of the game.
England got off to a jittery start by losing Ian Bell (1) early at the score of four, but Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook put up a brief resistance before Bhuvneshwar removed Cook for 17. After that Pietersen took charge to raise the ante of his game and looked like scoring big. But MS Dhoni stood up when Pietersen was on strike and that move paid off when Bhuvneshwar clean bowled the big right-hander for 42.
Next to fall immediately was Eoin Morgan (0) off Bhuvneshwar caught behind the wickets by Dhoni diving to his left and leave England at 73 for 4 in 14.4 overs. Craig Kieswetter (18) and Joe Root tried to remain patient, but Ashwin scalped him Kieswetter cheaply caught at short midwicket by Suresh Raina.
In the 31st over, Jadeja returned for his second spell and got two wickets in the form of Root (36) and Chris Woakes (0) to put England's chase in disarray and leave the visitors reeling at 132 for 7. The writing was very much on the wall unless the tail put up some kind of fight, but Ashwin had different ideas as he picked up James Tredwell (1) and Steven Finn (0) in the 34th over.
Last wicket to fall was Jade Dernbach, which left Samit Patel unbeaten at 30. It was Pietersen's wicket that turned the match and gave India to attack more. England's last 6 wickets fell for 48 runs and this proves the point.
Earlier, late blitz by Dhoni and Jadeja powered India to a competetive 285 for 6 when at one moment India were 174 for 5 in 39.2 overs, until Dhoni arrived at the crease and changed the course of the match. Dhoni combined with Jadeja to put up a 96-run stand for the sixth wicket [highest at Kochi] and plundered 108 runs in the last 10 overs.
Dhoni was the top scorer with 72 runs off 66 balls, which included seven fours and two sixes. While Jadeja remained unbeaten at 61 and not to forget the knock of 55 by Raina. For England, Finn and Jade Dernbach claimed two wickets each, while Tredwell and Woakes chipped in with one wicket.
India won the toss and elected to bat on a tricky track where the ball wasn't coming onto the bat easily. Gautam Gambhir was the first to fall, bowled by Dernbach for 8 and in the next over Finn scalped Ajinkya Rahane (4) to reduce India to 18 for 2.
Then Yuvraj Singh along with Virat Kohli did a brief recovery act, as the left-hander didn't look flustered after the early jolts and played his natural game. Yuvraj was good at dispatching the shot balls to the boundary, before he was trapped by offspinner Tredwell for 32 off 37 balls. However, he was not happy with the decision when he walked back suggesting that he had gloved before the ball hit the pads.
After Yuvraj's wicket, Raina walked out to the middle and steadied the innings with Kohli getting his lost touch back. In 22.6 over, Kohli stepped out and launched Tredwell for a six over extra-cover to bring up India's 100, but failed to carry on. While trying to clear Woakes over the infield, Kohli (37) played straight to the deep cover fielder where Ian Bell completed the catch.