Monday, November 17, 2008

Singh is king

It was an awesome performance by Yuvraj. His effort, both with the bat and the ball, powered India to gain 2-0 lead in 7 match ODI series.

He hit 2nd consecutive century followed by a 4-wicket haul. This century was special and important than the one in the first ODI as he got this one when the team needed. It was definitely one of his memorable innings. He is more confident now and needs to make sure he continues his good form.

After winning the toss and elected to bat, India got off to a poor start. Sehwag(1), Raina(4) and Rohit Sharma(3) were dismissed early by Stuart Broad.

After their departure, Yuvraj and Gambhir(70) added 134 runs in 22.3 overs for the 4th wicket to take India to a comfortable position before Pietersen dismissed Gambhir. Yuvraj Singh took India out of trouble with his wonderful batting. Gambhir did excellent for his 70, but failed again to reach 100 after getting it to 50.

Dhoni made just 15 before Paul Collingwood dismissed him. Broad returned in the 3rd powerplay , for his second spell, and removed Yuvraj. Harbhajan and Zaheer were run out trying to get the runs quickly. Harmison dismissed RP Singh the last over. Yusuf Pathan took the responsibility after Yuvraj and scored an unbeaten 50 from 29 deliveries to take India to 292/9 in 50 overs. It was his maiden half century in ODIs.

England managed only 238 from 47 overs in reply. England began their innings on a disatrous note when Suresh Raina run out Ian Bell(1) with brilliant fielding, in the first over of England's innings. Owais Shah(58) and Prior(38) took the responsibility of building up the innings and scored 96 runs in 22.1 overs before Yuvraj struck. He dismissed Shah and Prior in two overs.

Ashes heroes, Pietersen(33) and Flintoff(43), found it difficult to score runs as Yuvraj and Harbhajan quickly chipped in with economical overs, and the required-rate crept up towards 9 an over. England skipper took a smart move by opting for the 3rd powerplay at that time and England scored 59 in that 5 overs which brought the visitors a ray of hope.

But Yuvraj's two wicket over, just after power play, turned the match completely towards India. He dismissed Flintoff and Pietersen in that over to make it 4-28, his scond best in ODIs. Harbhajan Singh took a return catch to dismiss Paul Collingwood (2). Yusuf Pathan dismissed Ravinder Bopara (3) in his first over. Virender Sehwag then took the next three England wickets dismissing Samit Patel (20), Steve Harmison (6) and Stuart Broad (22) to all out England for 238.

Interestingly, all the England wickets(except Bell's run out) were taken by the spinners. But England spinners have managed to take only 1 Indian wicket.

One thing, I don't understand with England is why they sent Bopara after Samit Patel. When you take Bopara as a batsman you have to use him. England need to send him before Patel and Collingwood.

The two teams will now travel to Kanpur for the third match to be played on Thursday.

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