India's top-order struggled once again but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (72) continued his rich vein of form to steer the hosts to a challenging 285 for six against England in the second one-dayer on Tuesday.
Dhoni blasted a 66-ball 72, laced with seven fours and two sixes, to take his team past the 250-run mark after they were reduced to 119-4 in 26.2 overs.
Dhoni featured in two crucial partnerships – first adding 55 runs with Suresh Raina and then 96 runs with Ravindra Jadeja for the fifth and sixth wickets respectively.
Middle-order batsman Raina also cracked a well-paced half-century off 78 balls, studded with two sixes and a couple of fours, to initially steady the innings along with Dhoni, who came in to bat at No 5.
However, it was the last 10 overs which gave the hosts the impetus as Dhoni and all-rounder Jadeja, amassed 108 runs, to put the team in a comfortable position after they decided to bat first.
Steven Finn was the top wicket-taker for England as he took two wickets for 51 runs, while James Tredwell bowled well, taking one wicket for 48 runs.
Jade Dernbach and Chris Woakes were expensive but snapped two and one wicket to contribute to the team.
Earlier, India had a tottering start as they were reduced to 18 for two by the English pace duo of Finn and Dernbach.
Gautam Gambhir (8) and Ajinkya Rahane (4) paid the price for their poor footwork as both were cleaned bowled by Dernbach and Finn respectively.
While, Gambhir failed to defend an incoming delivery from Finn, Rahane tried to play too away from the body, leaving a huge gap which was breached by the in-swinger from Dernbach.
Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh then tried to steady the ship and added 53 runs off 65 balls for the third wicket.
However, the left-handed batsman was adjudged leg-before wicket by umpire Steve Davis despite the fact that Tredwell's delivery had kissed Yuvraj's glove while he attempted a sweep shot. Yuvraj hit five fours in his 37-ball innings.
Raina then joined Kohli and the duo forged another 48-run stand for the fifth wicket and helped India cross the 100-run mark. But Kohli then threw his wicket in pursuit of an ambitious shot.
Soon it was left to Raina and Dhoni once again to stem the rot and the duo did not disappoint, taking the hosts across the 150-run mark.
Raina brought up his fifty in 66 balls with a boundary in the backward point region but in pursuit of quick runs, he lost his off-stump to Finn in the 40th over.
After the 35th over, India took their batting Powerplay but the home team failed to make use of it, accumulating only 18 runs off the four overs.
Dhoni and Jadeja then decided to accelerate and picked up a six and a four among them in the 43rd over to take India across the 200-mark.
Jadeja blasted a six and a couple of fours off Woakes in the 45th over to amass 14 runs, while Dhoni picked up a couple of boundaries of Finn in the 47th over.
In the last five overs, the duo accumulated 68 runs as India posted a challenging score for the visitors.
Brief Scores: India 285 for 6 in 50 overs (MS Dhoni 72, Ravindra Jadeja 61*, Suresh Raina 55; Steven Finn 2 for 73) vs England
First Published: January 15, 2013, 3:55 pm