© AFP
© AFP

It was a walk down memory lane for Indian fans. Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni, two of India’s greatest ODI cricketers, stitching up a 256-run stand to counter the English bowling attack to put up 381. It proved to be enough in the end as India clinched the 2nd ODI by 15 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead, helping Virat Kohli win his first series as full-time limited-overs captain of the Indian team. The Eoin Morgan threat loomed large until the midway of the penultimate over. He produced one of the finest knocks in ODI cricket but the run out… well, read more about it in the highlights.

The black armband: The black armbands unfortunately merged with the shades of black on their new limited-over jerseys, but they were indeed sporting them. You would if you cared for women’s cricket or let us say the game itself, the world of cricket lost Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Wednesday night. A former England captain, Heyhoe-Flint revolutionised women’s cricket in all possible ways.

Full cricket scorecard: India vs England, 2nd ODI

The black armband © AFP
The black armband © AFP

Setting up Kohli: Kohli getting dismissed for 8 is perhaps a rarer sight than a blue moon. After squaring up KL Rahul and having him caught at the second slip, Kohli was offered fuller deliveries when he arrived at the crease in the third over.

Two of them he drove straight exquisitely for boundaries. Then Woakes pitched one up that swung away; Kohli’s eyes lit up as he went for an encore, but the ball had moved away a bit too much. Kohli played it away from the body, got a thick outside edge and Ben Stokes dived to his left to grab a screamer at second slip.

The Yuvi-jab of assurance: India were 25 for 3. MS Dhoni was happy playing maidens at one end while Yuvraj Singh kept the scoreboard moving. In the 11th over, Yuvraj creamed Liam Plunkett through the cover for a boundary, followed by a straight drive.

In the 17th over, Stokes erred in length pitching it slightly fuller. Yuvraj lunged forward, and the back-lift helped as he punched it straight for a boundary. We knew it was the Yuvi of past. Nothing less than a three-figure could have appeased him from there.

He finished with 150 from 127 balls, his highest score in ODIs. The innings contained 21 fours and 3 sixes. This was his first hundred since the 2011 World Cup and his return from cancer. His emotions after he made it to the three-figure mark said aplenty.

 

The 200th ‘six’ drama: He took his time and happily played second fiddle, but when the moment arrived, MS Dhoni unleashed the beastly sixes.

Dhoni was batting on 93. Woakes bowled a full-toss. Boom, it went. Dhoni smacked it over deep square-leg to move to 99. Did he? The umpire called it dead ball, as the ball had hit the spider-cam cable. He was denied of his 200th ODI six. He would have been the first Indian to do so.

A visibly unhappy Dhoni bludgeoned the next ball over long-on to reach 99. There was the 200th six. Three balls later, he brought up his first hundred in over 3 years and 10th overall.

Dhoni added 256 with Yuvraj, rekindling glorious memories of past. He finished with 134 from 122 balls with 10 fours and 6 sixes with the usual Dhoni-authority written all over them.

Ball strikes Ball and Stokes’ face: There was comedy of errors in the 47th over of the Indian innings. Hardik Pandya pulled over deep square-leg for a boundary. A leaping Stokes could not stop it. A moment later the ball hit him on his face. The ball-boy had thrown the ball back not realising Stokes stood right in its way. Stokes, caught completely off-guard, seemed furious but managed to keep his calm as it was completely unintentional.

Later in the same over Morgan attempted a run out but the ball missed the stumps and Pandya before finding its namesake. Poor Ball was floored, literally.

Spin-twins reunite: The Indian victory would probably not have been possible without the blows from Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin at crucial points. Jason Roy and Joe Root added a century stand for the second wicket before Ashwin dismissed Root by taking pace off the ball. Jadeja then cleaned up the dangerous Roy.

Despite England scoring at 7.32, Jadeja finished with 10-0-45-1 and Ashwin with 10-0-65-3. This proved to be the difference in the end. There were debates regarding Ashwin’s place in the side as he has been keeping India’s premier ODI spinner Amit Mishra out. The murmurs were laid to rest.

Captain Morgan classic: After the fall of dangerous Stokes and Jos Buttler, Morgan was busy doing repair work. He reached his fifty in the 38th over and from 53 balls. England still needed 130 from 12 overs. Then began the onslaught.

He scored another 52 from 28 balls. He was well supported by Moeen Ali, who scored 55 off 43 balls. Morgan got to his ton and was probably playing one of the finest ODI knocks ever. He got the equation down to 28 from 10, and then…

Jasprit Bumrah strikes: Bumrah loves stumps, be it with darting yorkers or the bullet-throws from the deep. He got a yorker that Liam Plunkett managed to dig out. Morgan had sprinted down from the non-striker’s end to get the strike back.

Unfortunately for him, the ball found Bumrah, who remained poised, moved a few steps close to the stump and sent down a throw, dismantling it. Morgan was run out.

Dhoni was perplexed and indicated that he could have done without the throw and simply ran up to the stumps to dislodge the bails. Anyway, the job had been done.

Courtesy Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India defended 22 from the final over to pocket the series.