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Kohli and Gambhir powers India to 8-wicket victory over England

Oct 18, 2011

india england 2nd odi virat and gambhir


World champions India rattled England once again with bat and ball to win the second one-dayer by eight wickets on Monday and take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. Seamer Vinay Kumar returned with his best international figures of four for 30 as a lacklustre England were shot out for 237 in good batting conditions at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground in New Delhi.


Scorecard


Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir powered India to 8-wicket victory ove England. They couldn't have been any more comfortable at home than they were at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Monday. 

Like pukka Delhiites, they played by the numbers, an assured ease and a calculated approach to help India overhaul England's 238-target with surprising ease. Kohli, in particular, made another strong claim for a berth in the Test squad for the upcoming series against the West Indies with an unbeaten 98-ball 112, a knock head and shoulders above the rest of the batting competition from either side. The runs have been coming at such fair clip it's hard to believe this feisty young batsman is already seven ODI centuries old.

India will also welcome Gambhir's return to international form following injury and the painful incidents of the England tour. He played excellent senior statesman with a fluent, unbeaten 84, trademark whips, cuts and steers in place as Kohli flicked, drove and pulled with elan at the other end.

That India finished the game with 80 balls remaining and eight wickets in hand is a fair indication of their complete superiority. Vinay Kumar picked up a career-best haul and even the English fielders were outshone by their Indian counterparts.

The chase didn't start out easy, though, since after 8.5 overs, India too were exactly 35/2 like England had been earlier in the day, both teams having lost the openers. But while Cook and Kieswetter departed without putting up a run on the board and the Trott-Pietersen combine perished after a decent start, Gambhir and Kohli - having found themselves together after 6.5 overs - clinically proceeded to fashion a new record for the third wicket with their unconquered 209-run stand.

England had their moments, like when Steven Finn bowled with fire and repeatedly beat the bat. They often employed aggressive fields too, but not at times when it was really required, and will be left wondering whether Cook's captaincy was a little underdone.

The pitch was slow but Kotla's usual demons had taken the day off, meaning England had only themselves to blame for putting up a low total. They batted as if promises were meant to be broken, every favourable partnership being broken on the cusp of lending the innings an air of authority.

Wickets fell in pairs and the batting, even given England's continued travails on India's slow pitches, was quite out of character. The match had been billed as a battle between India's slow bowlers and a visiting lineup hesitant in tackling spin. But having prevented Ashwin and Jadeja from wreaking havoc, England didn't do themselves any favours by succumbing to the seam-up stuff of Vinay Kumar (4/30 off 9 overs). Praveen Kumar and third seamer Umesh Yadav too chipped in with satisfying contributions as seven wickets were taken by the faster men.

An impulsive England had negated Kohli's pre-match prediction of spinners holding sway but failed to capitalize on the Powerplays and lost their wickets in 48.2 overs. Even before the Kohli-Gauti spectacular, MS Dhoni's men had bowled to a plan and reaped the rewards.