England completely outplayed the Indian bowlers and registered a huge six-wicket win in the second ODI of the three-match series at the Maharashtra Cricket Stadium, Pune. The visitors have leveled the series by chasing down 337 runs in the 44th over owing to the dominating batting of Ben Stokes, and Jonny Bairstow. After sharing a 135-run stand in the first ODI, Bairstow and Jason Roy gave England another solid start by adding 110 runs in just 87 deliveries before the dismissal of the latter.
Roya’s dismissal didn’t have any effect on the batting momentum of England Bairstow and Stokes kept on tonking the Indian bowlers. Bairstow, who missed a century in the previous ODI by just 6 runs, reached his century in just 95 balls with a six against Kuldeep Yadav. On the othe rhand, Ben Stokes came out all guns blazing as he had amassed 99 off just 52 balls with the help of 4 fours and 10 sixes. During his knock, Stokes also collected 28 runs off one Krunal Pandya over.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the wicket of and two runs later, Prasidh Krishna managed to dismiss Bairstow for 124. In the same over, he dismissed Jos Buttler for a three-ball duck to reduce England to 287 for 3 from 285 for 1 and revive India’s slim hopes. But before India could even sense of making a comeback, Liam Livingstone and Dawid Malan steadied the ship. The duo shared an unbeaten stand of 50 runs to take England home.
Earlier in the game, KL Rahul’s fifth ODI ton helped the hosts to reach a defendable total of 336 for 6 in the stipulated 50 overs. Apart from Rahul, Rishabh Pant and skipper Virat Kohli scored crucial half-centuries as well. England won the toss and asked India to bat first. The hosts were off to a poor start as both their openers – Shikhar Dhawan (4) and Rohit Sharma (25) – failed to get going.
At the end of the 9th over, Team India was reeling at 37 for 2 when Kohli and Rahul joined hands in the middle. The duo quickly put India’s innings on track by sharing 121 runs for the third wicket. Adil Rashid got the prized wicket of Kohli for 66 as the latter’s century drought further extended. After that, Rahul made another century-plus stand with Rishabh Pant.
Rahul and Pant’s partnership led the foundation for India’s big total as they added 133 in just 77 balls for the fourth wicket before Rahul’s departure for a well-made 108. Pant, on the other hand, continued his assault and raced away to 28-ball fifty. He took India’s score over the 300-run mark before Tom Curran ended his 77-run knock. Pant’s knock came off just 40 balls and was laced with 3 fours and 7 sixes. Towards the end, Hardik Pandya played a fine cameo off 35 off just 16 balls to guide India close to the 340-run mark.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the match:
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 26, 2021
England were phenomenal today. Especially @jbairstow21 and @benstokes38. Well done to them on sticking to their aggressive approach despite the hiccup in the first odi. Super Sunday ahead 🤩 #INDvENG pic.twitter.com/KnXhM8be9I
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) March 26, 2021
— Ian Bell (@Ian_Bell) March 26, 2021
Congrats @englandcricket ! Chasing 336 is never easy, but @benstokes38 and @jbairstow21 showed us some of the most audacious power-hitting we’ve seen in a long time. With 1-1, the decider would be exciting. All the best to Team India in the decider! #INDvENG
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) March 26, 2021
— James Taylor (@jamestaylor20) March 26, 2021
Great game , well done boys
— Jofra Archer (@JofraArcher) March 26, 2021
Hard luck India.
Enjoyed watching the game at the picturesque Cricket ground in pune with my friends. pic.twitter.com/cEYMvxtKy4
— Mohammed Azharuddin (@azharflicks) March 26, 2021
Today should be a lesson to India … Playing it safe for 40 overs with Bat might cost them in a World Cup at home in 2 yrs … they have enough power & depth to get scores of 375 + on flat wickets … England leading the way with this approach … #INDvENG
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) March 26, 2021
The rules of the game seem so lopsided in favour of batsmen that bowlers seem redundant, ‘also rans’. @ICC urgently needs to relook at the circle rule, two new balls and bouncer restrictions. Otherwise bowlers will be reduced to programmed bowling machines @bcci
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) March 26, 2021
Winning n losing is a part of the game but team India’s serious concern is spin department in one day cricket at the moment. #INDvENG
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) March 26, 2021
That passage of play from johnny Bairstow and @benstokes38 was simply insane 😮😮😮🏏
— Graeme Swann (@Swannyg66) March 26, 2021
As a superstitious cricketer I apologise for jinxing both of the lads as they’ve both got out within minutes this tweet! 🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️ my dad would not be impressed, nearly as bad as moving seats!
— Tammy Beaumont (@Tammy_Beaumont) March 26, 2021