England decimate India by 6 wkts
Johny Bairstow and Ben Stokes produced a rollicking partnership of 175 runs in 20 overs of brutal hitting as England made short work of chasing down 337 for victory with 6 overs to spare to stun the Indians in a high scoring 2nd ODI & level the series 1-1.
It was total carnage by England batsmen at Pune today. Set to score an intimidating 337 to level the series, England openers after getting set played dazzling strokes taking power play hitting to a different level as Indian bowling looked lost for ideas. After Bhuvneshwar and Prasidh had relatively good 1st couple of overs, the Indian bowling was blasted to all parts by Roy and Bairstow till Roy (55 off 52 balls ) was unfortunately runout.
Stokes stepped in at 3. He was in menacing form and unleashed brutal shots while Bairstow has also started unfurling sensational shots. Their incredible strokeplay totally dismantled the Indian bowling as the spinners were smashed into oblivion. Kuldeep’s confidence looked totally shot and Krunal simply does not have the skills to control this kind of power hitting on a good pitch. Surprisingly Hardik Pandya was not even called upon to bowl which actually turned out to be a load management decision(?) as the captain put it after the match.
Johny Bairstow after his blazing 94 in 1st ODI went one better getting a dazzling hundred full of power packed shots. He hit 7 sixes and 11 fours and ensured that he stayed long enough to get closer to the target unlike in first match. Ben Stokes matched Bairstow stroke for stoke and simply blew away the bowling attack hitting 10 sixes and 4 fours in his incredible innings of 99 off 52 balls till Bhuvneswar got him caught behind off a pull shot.
Earlier Stokes was very lucky on a runout decision as 3rd umpire ruled him notout but the bails appeared shifted when his bat was on line. Bairstow followed soon after his exceptional innings of 124 off 112 balls being caught by Kohli at cover off Prasidh. Both batters produced numerous pull shots hit with enormous power followed by shots down the ground and on either side to bring down the Indian bowling to club level proportions.
Though both the set batters got out in quick succession and then Buttler bowled by a brilliant Yorker from Prasidh Krishna, the asking rate of 5 an over was never going to be tough with many wickets in hand. Thus Malan (16no) and debutant Livingstone (27no) ensured no further alarms to finish off the game with 6.3 overs to go
Earlier India got off to a slowest start & both openers had a quiet outing. It was Virat – Rahul partnership which got the Indian innings going. Both played sublime knocks, placing the balls in gaps, running hard and interspersing with glorious shots. Rahul hit glorious 6s — pull off Tom Curran , lofted over long off off Rashid. Virat hit a pulled 6 off Rashid & looked poised to get his elusive 100. However Rashid had the last laugh inducing the edge off Virat for an easy catch for Buttler.
Virat’s dismissal unleashed Rishabh Pant, in his comeback to ODI cricket and what a brutal innings he played !! After he took a while to settle , he went off like firecrackers butchering the faster bowlers with powerful sixes on both sides of the wicket. It was total carnage are one end while Rahul reached his 100 in subtle fashion but hit his share of delightful boundaries showing beyond doubt that he is well and truly back in form.
Rahul finally departed for 108 paving the way for Hardik to join Pant and what followed was total decimation of England bowling. Sixes flew to all parts as India rapidly crossed 300 and went beyond. Pant (77 off 40 balls ) and Hardik (35 off 16 balls ) hit the final nail in England’s bowling coffin to take India to a huge score of 336/6 . For England, only Reese Topley (2/50) managed to put up a decent performance. Moeen Ali too was economical.
However the end result will be a big concern for Indian bowling in which both the spinners looked extremely below par and only Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Prasidh Krishna came out with their reputations in tact.
IND 336/6 (50 Ovs)
Tom Curran 2/83
ENG 337/4 (43.3 Ovs)