Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes power England to series-levelling win over India in second ODI

Oli Burley

England pair put on 175 in spectacular stand, with Bairstow posting 11th ODI century and Stokes scoring 99 after India rack up 336-6 on the back of KL Rahul’s fifth ODI century; watch the third ODI live on Sky Sports Cricket from 8.30am on Sunday

Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes produced an astonishing exhibition of six-hitting as England crushed India by six wickets in the second ODI to set up a series decider.

Second ODI scorecard | How it happened

Bairstow (124) and Stokes (99) blasted 17 maximums between them in a thrilling 175-run stand off 113 balls for the second wicket as the tourists hared past India’s 336-6 in just 43.3 overs.

Their partnership built on an opening stand of 110 between Roy and Bairstow, whose 11th ODI hundred came swiftly in reply to KL Rahul’s fifth ODI century for India.

On a day of brutal strokeplay in Pune, Rishabh Pant (77 off 40) and Hardik Pandya (35 off 16) went ballistic as England’s death bowling conceded 126 runs in 10 overs.

England would not be out-gunned, though, despite losing Stokes, Bairstow and skipper Jos Buttler in the space of two runs with victory in sight and debutant Liam Livingstone (27no) helped to wrap up the match.

The result means Sunday’s third ODI – live on Sky Sports Cricket from 8.30am – will decide the series and ensures England will keep their World No 1 status whatever the result.

Both captains were happy with their lot at the toss after Buttler, deputising for the injured Eoin Morgan, put Virat Kohli’s India into bat.

Rahul followed up his 62no in the first ODI by sharing an even-paced stand of 121-run for the third wicket with Kohli (66) after the early loss of Shikhar Dhawan (four) and Rohit Sharma (25).

Kohli enjoyed a life on 35 when he was dropped by Buttler off the bowling of Adil Rashid (1-65) and chalked up the 62nd fifty of his ODI career before snicking the leg-spinner behind again – this time with no reprieve.

At 173-3 off 35 overs, India were well-placed to go on the offensive and Pant cashed in having twice overturning decisions, after being given out lbw and caught behind off the expensive Tom Curran (2-83).

The 23-year-old battered Stokes for successive sixes and, together with Rahul, took 22 off the 42nd over of the innings bowled by Tom Curran on his way to fifty off 28 balls.

Rahul went on to bring up his ton off 108 deliveries and as part of his celebration put his hands by his ears to, as he later explained, “shut out the noise” and criticism that followed his lean spell in the T20 series.

His departure, caught in the deep off Tom Curran, simply upped the ante as Hardik Pandya sent his first ball over the ropes – one of three sixes off a Sam Curran over that included a powerful, one-handed maximum over long on from Pant.

Two of the first three balls of the next over, from Tom Curran, also disappeared over the rope before Pant holed out and Hardik also went down swinging after being dropped on 21 by Buttler off the impressive Reece Topley (2-50), selected ahead of Mark Wood (rested).

Roy dominated the early stages of England’s reply, facing all but eight balls in the first seven overs but he made good use of the strike by striking five fours in the space of nine balls.

Bairstow’s second boundary brought up the 50-run stand off 8.3 overs – the pair picking up from their partnership of 135 in the first ODI – and back-to-back sixes off Shardul Thakur helped him begin to mirror his partner’s strike-rate.

So successfully did Bairstow do this that although both batsmen reached their fifties with a six, Bairstow posted his half-century off 45 balls – three balls quicker than Roy.

The pair, opening together for the 47th time, accumulated their 13th century stand off 97 balls only for the partnership to be broken by a run out – Sharma swooping brilliantly at midwicket to cause a mid-pitch mix-up with Roy the batsman to go.

Stokes revealed pre-match how Joe Root had advised him to trust his instincts and bat with freedom at three and the all-rounder showed he’d heeded the advice with a brace of early sixes.

He had a stroke of good fortune on 33 when – much to Kohli’s obvious and understandable annoyance – the TV umpire ruled Stokes had grounded part of his bat behind the line after a direct hit from the deep exposed some lazy running.

Otherwise, England were clinical – Bairstow launching Kuldeep over deep midwicket to reach three figures and Stokes following suit, taking the tourists to 211-1 off 31 overs and setting up a grandstand finish.

Stokes’ fifty came up off 40 balls and was followed by an onslaught of three successive sixes off Kuldeep, with three more off one Krunal Pandya over bringing up the 150-runs stand off 107 deliveries.

India conceded 77 runs off five overs before Stokes gloved behind having moved from 50 to 99 in just 11 balls.

It was the first of three wickets to fall for two runs as Bairstow picked out Kohli at cover off Prasidh Krishna and Buttler lost his off-stump to a yorker without scoring.

Livingstone took the most of the chance created by injuries to Morgan and Sam Billings to crunch Bhuvneshwar Kumar for successive sixes to ensure England didn’t stall.

Dawid Malan, likewise drafted in for his second cap, seized his opportunity with an unbeaten 16no and struck the winning runs as England cantered home.

Related Posts

Leave a comment

You must login to add a new comment.