Delhi boys demolish England

Delhi boys demolish England

Centurion Kohli joins forces with Gambhir and Vinay as India take 2-0 lead

Delhi boys demolish England

India’s Virat Kohli celebrates after notching up his seventh ODI ton against England on Monday. AFPJust about the only jarring note on an otherwise perfect day for India was the disappointing turn-out at the Feroze Shah Kotla.

Those that stayed away must be ruing a missed opportunity as Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men opened up a commanding 2-0 lead over England on Monday night, brushing aside their recent tormentors by an impressive eight-wicket margin.

That the victory, set up by R Vinay Kumar’s career-best figures (4/30), was completed in magnificent fashion by local lads Gautam Gambhir and man of the match Virat Kohli (112 n.o., 98b, 16x4) ought to have added to the misery of the missing thousands even as those that turned up were thoroughly entertained.

Alastair Cook believed he had won an important toss and promptly chose to bat, but inside the second over, he must have been wondering if he had made the right decision. England lost their skipper to the fourth delivery and Craig Kieswetter in the second over without a run on the board, and while they did reasonably well to post 237, their total was well short of par for the course on the best Kotla track in recent times.

Steve Finn bowled an outstanding first spell and was distinctly unlucky to have nothing to show for it, but otherwise, England were ragged with the ball, sloppy in the field and looked like they couldn’t even catch a cold. Gambhir (84 n.o., 90b, 10x4) and Kohli came together at 29 for two, and once they found their feet, they toyed with the bowling, which came unstuck in the face of sustained counter-punching. Their record undefeated stand of 209 (179b) propelled India to 238 for two with a whopping 80 deliveries to spare.

Kohli will be the first to admit that the rub of the green went his way at the start when he was beaten time and again by the pacy Finn. A majestic pull off Jade Dernbach set him going and, from then on, as is his wont, he played a succession of stunning strokes, a silken inside-out cover-drive against Graeme Swann’s off-spin easily the pick.

Breathtaking compilation

His seventh one-day hundred was a breathtaking compilation, and his celebrations both on bringing up three figures and the winning runs showed how much it meant to him to sparkle at a venue where he learnt his cricket.

Gambhir’s was a more sedate effort, if only in comparison. He began more shakily than his younger colleague and wasn’t ever at his fluent best, but he needed time in the middle, and carried that grim determination about him that is fast becoming second nature. With Kohli closing in on his hundred, Gambhir farmed the strike, ensured that there were enough runs to play with for the right-hander, and set himself up for the rest of the series.

Needless to say, the rest of the series will be an arduous climb back for the visitors, who showed that they are sore losers with volatile behaviour that forced umpires Bowden and Tarapore to summon Cook more than once. England’s innings was a stop-start affair with very little rhythm, and on the few occasions when they threatened to take control, they lost wickets in pairs to shoot themselves in the foot.

India’s spinners were expected to do the bulk of the damage, but there was little joy for them. Instead, it was the faster bowlers who shared the spoils, Vinay brilliant with his impeccable control and tremendous incisiveness.

Sheer pace is not the Karnataka man’s strength, but his craft and guile were on full view as he kept things tight, asked probing questions and found adequate reward. Two wickets in each of his two spells meant England were forced to re-assess options more than once.

At 121 for five after losing the set duo of Kevin Pietersen and Ravi Bopara in quick succession, England appeared to be short-changing themselves until Jonny Bairstow and Samit Patel hauled them out of the woods with a stand of 86 (98). Umesh Yadav’s extra pace accounted for the latter, and India then polished off the tail with Vinay again in the forefront.

Score board

ENGLAND

Cook c Jadeja b Praveen    0
(4b)
Kieswetter c Kohli b Vinay     0
(5b)
Trott c Dhoni b Vinay     34
(37b, 7x4)
Pietersen c Dhoni b Yadav     46
(55b, 3x4, 2x6)
Bopara lbw Ashwin     36
(50b, 4x4)
Bairstow c Kohli b Jadeja    35
(49b, 3x4)
Patel lbw Yadav    42
(53b, 2x4, 2x6)
Bresnan c Raina b Vinay    12
(13b, 1x4)
Swann b Vinay    7
(7b, 1x4)
Finn (not out)    6
(13b)
Dernbach (run out)    3
(4b)
Extras (LB-5, W-11)    16
Total (all out, 48.2 overs)    237
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Cook), 2-0 (Kieswetter), 3-48 (Trott), 4-121 (Bopara), 5-121 (Pietersen), 6-207 (Patel), 7-211 (Bairstow), 8-227 (Swann), 9-229 (Bresnan).
Bowling: Praveen Kumar 9-1-40-1 (w-2), Vinay 9-1-30-4 (w-1), Kohli 5-0-18-0, Yadav 8.2-0-50-2 (w-4), Ashwin 10-0-56-1 (w-3), Jadeja 7-0-38-1 (w-1).
Runs during Power Play 1: 1-10 overs: 48/3; Power Play 2: 16-20 overs: 27/0; Power Play 3 (batting): 36-40 overs: 36/0.

INDIA

Patel c Cook b Bresnan    12
(17b, 2x4)
Rahane c Dernbach b Bresnan    14
(15b, 1x4, 1x6)
Gambhir (not out)    84
(90b, 10x4)
Kohli (not out)    112
(98b, 16x4)
Extras (LB-3, W-13)    16
Total (for 2 wkts, 36.4 overs)    238
Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Patel), 2-29 (Rahane).
Bowling: Bresnan 7-1-41-2 (w-1), Finn 9-0-50-0 (w-2), Jade Dernbach 5.4-0-41-0 (w-1), Graeme Swann 8-0-52-0 (w-5), Bopara 3-0-21-0 (w-3), Patel 2-0-17-0, Pietersen 2-0-13-0 (w-1).
Runs during Power Play 1: 1-10 overs: 53/2; Power Play 2: 18-22 overs: 32/0; Power Play 3 (batting): 36-40 overs: 13/0.

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