England pull off an anticlimactic equalizer

By Shrey Siddharth

India and England were all set to lock horns in the second ODI in MCA stadium, Pune. England won the toss and put India to bat. Butler was the captain in place of the injured Eoin Morgan. England replaced Morgan, Billings and Wood with the debutante Liam Livingstone, Malan and Reece Topley. India brought in Rishabh Pant in place of the injured Shreyas Iyer. Here are the highlights from today’s game:-

Rahul’s majestic century:-

After losing the openers in the powerplay, Rahul and Kohli stitched a 121 run partnership. Rahul started off slow in the middle overs, but then attacked the bowling once he reached his 50. Kohli once again scored a well compiled 66 continuing his good form before he was dismissed by Rashid. Virat also went past 10,000 run mark in no. 3 position in ODIs. Rahul ensured good temperament while he accelerated. The 6 over cover against Curran was the highlight of his inning. Rahul reached his well deserved 5th ODI century before he got out for 108.

Pant and Pandya stamp their authority:-

Rishabh Pant went off to a flyer once he got settled in the middle. He went on a counter attack against the English pacers as he used the depth of the crease and his power. Pant rained 7 sixes in his innings, 2nd most by any Indian wicket keeper. Hardik Pandya joined the mayhem hitting a six off his very first ball. When it seemed Pant would score his first ODI century, he got caught for 77 off 40 to Tom Curran’s bowling. Hardik Pandya scored 35 off 16 which included 4 sixes. India scored 337-6 at the end of 50 overs.

Roy and Bairstow’s iconic stand:-

Roy and Bairstow did exactly what had done in the last game. They had a watchful start in the first 10 overs and then took on Thakur and the spinners. After a string of 40+ scored, Roy reached his 50. The opening stand of 110 came to an end when Roy got out for 55, trying to steal a run from Rohit at mid-wicket. But Bairstow stood his ground and tore the spinners apart. He made batting look so easy when struck 2 sixes down the ground with the straight bat off the pacers. Bairstow scored his 11th century before he got out to Prasidh for 124.

Stokes stuns India:-

Ben Stokes completely battered the Indian bowlers and didn’t give them any chance in the game. He built a 175 run match winning stand with Bairstow and after he completed his 50, simply picked the bones out of the Indian bowling unit. He literally made live action look like a highlights package after the 30th over. When it seemed he would be England’s fastest ton, he edged the ball to Pant and perished for 99 off 52, though proving why he’s a current day legend in high pressure games.

England were in trouble when they lost 3 wickets in quick succession, but Livingston and Malan batted sensibly to put on 50 runs and took England home in the 44th over. England won the match by 6 wickets and level the series 1-1. Can India come back strongly with their A-game and win the series?