Indians celebrate the early wicket blitz and Mohammad Shami (centre) led from the front with a double strike © Getty Images
By R Vishal
Aug 27, 2014
India capped off a comprehensive 133 run victory in the second One-Day International (ODI) to go 1-0 against England. The packed and lively Cardiff crowd were treated to Suresh Raina‘s magnificent whirlwind century for India, making England bowlers look like bits and pieces ragged Indian Premier League (IPL) cricketers propelled the visitors to a fighting 304 for six in seaming conditions in Cardiff. In what was Raina’s first century away from home, the southpaw’s flicks, drives and the use of his powerful bottom hand was in full display and after all the excellent initial work from James Anderson and Chris Woakes. England crumbled under the belligerent counter-attack by Raina, who was well supported by skipper MS Dhoni during his stay at the crease while India posted a mammoth total of 304 for six.
During England’s chase, Indian pacers Mohammaed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma were neat and accurate. This frustrated the England batsmen, who constantly kept losing wickets and folded out quickly. After pacers made the initial inroads, Ravindra Jadeja and co from the spin department ran through the English middle-order, whoses woes with spin bowing continued for some more time. England’s chase was delayed before the start of their innings and had to chase a revised target of 295 in 47 overs. Alastair Cook struggled to get things under way and debutant Alex Hales was left with a lot of work to do. Hales made an excellent impact on debut, striking the ball gorgeously on the up and struck some handsome boundaries to keep England in the hunt. The batsmen around him though, left a lot to be desired and were constantly throwing wickets away with the run-rate mounting. It was Shami, who got India in command with a double strike early on.
Then Bhuvneshwar got Joe Root out to a peach of an inswinger and England were on the mat at that point. Then it was the Jadeja show completely and the batsmen fell like nine pins. Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes stemmed the rot and stiched a nice little partneship but both batsmen were out trying to clear the ropes.
England made a flying start to the game and there were back-to-back maidens to start proceedings for England. Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma were pegged back by some impeccable bowling by Anderson and Woakes. The seaming conditions had left India like spider on a hot plate. Then India started to lose wickets. First it was the impatient Dhawan, who tried to go for a big heave and ended up nicking it to keeper Jos Buttler. Raina’s superb return to form, defying his critics in spectacular fashion and getting India to a scintillating thrashing showed India’s resilience. With a lot of talk before the game, rather unwanted though, about the backroom staff, this comes as a real shot in the arm. The fielding was sharp, bowling impeccable and showing character to dig deep and recover from a sticky situation to post a huge total. Raina, though walks away with all the plaudits.
India 304 for 6 in 50 Overs (Rohit Sharma 52, Suresh Raina 100, MS Dhoni 52 ; Chris Woakes 4 for 52, James Tredwell 2 for 42) beat England 161 in 38.1 Overs (Alex Hales 40, Eoin Morgan 28, Ben Stokes 23; Ravindra Jadeja 4 for 28, Mohammed Shami 2 for 32) by 133 runs via D/L method
Man of the Match: Suresh Raina
Complete coverage of India’s tour to England here
(R Vishal is a journalist and alumnus of Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)