Jadeja dazzles as India script emphatic win

Dhonis men level five-match series 1-1

Jadeja dazzles as India script emphatic win

India’s wins these days have been as rare as Kochi hosting an international match but when the two coincided, it was bound to create a ripple that would have measured 7.0 on the Richter scale.

In front of an unbelievably noisy crowd, that were said to be around 70,000 with the top tier too opened up for the public, India discovered multiple heroes to find their way back into the five-match one-day series with a comprehensive 127-run win here at the Nehru International stadium on Tuesday. With this win India levelled the two-match old series 1-1, after their narrow nine-run loss in Rajkot.

After posting an impressive 285/6 upon electing to bat first, Indian bowlers came up with a stifling performance to dismiss England for 158 in 36 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/29), who bowled his entire 10-over spell in one go, gave an early initiative by claiming three crucial wickets – Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan – in a fine show of swing bowling. On a slowing wicket, off-spinner R Ashwin (3/39) and left-armer Ravindra Jadeja (2/12) decisively turned the match in home team’s favour.

The home side’s crushing win was first orchestrated by strong batting by skipper MS Dhoni (72, 66b, 7x4, 2x6) and Jadeja (61, 37b, 8x4, 2x6). When things were seemingly going England’s way after another top-order capitulation, though not quite abject this time, Dhoni and Jadeja combined to bail India out in astonishing fashion.

After the promise of Rajkot, where the hosts got a near-century start, India’s opening blues continued as both Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane were done in by similar deliveries but by different bowlers. Jade Dernbach got one to jag back at the poking Gambhir, the ball sneaking in the gap between bat and pad before hitting the top of the off stump. Steven Finn dismissed Rahane with an identical delivery which shaped in a shade late to crash through the right-hander’s defence.

It wasn’t the beginning India were hoping for on a supposedly batting beauty. Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh began the rescue act in right earnest. Guilty of trying too hard in the last few matches, Kohli knuckled down after an inside-edged four at the start. The right-hander didn’t try anything outlandish though Yuvraj once again was in his zone, playing some audacious yet attractive strokes.

The southpaw had added 53 runs for the third wicket with Kohli by the time their association was nipped by umpire Steve Davis who failed to notice that Yuvraj had gloved James Tredwell’s delivery before declaring him lbw.

This was followed by another useful stand (48 off 66b) between Kohli and Suresh Raina before the former threw his wicket away after all the hard work. Dhoni and Raina, as they so often have, began to reconstruct the innings. Raina picked up his second half-century in as many matches but once again fell just when he was expected to kick-on. Despite a 55-run alliance between Raina and Dhoni, India entered their last 10-over stretch with some amount of trepidation, reeling at 177/5.

With Jadeja having tasted success sparingly, it was left to Dhoni again to take India to a fighting total. But Jadeja inflicted equal damage on the stunned English bowlers who leaked 108 runs in the final 10 overs and 82 in the last six alone.

Together, the two batsmen clobbered 96 in just 60 balls. It was, in fact, Jadeja who set the tone for a final flourish taking 14 runs off the 45th over by Tim Bresnan’s replacement Chris Woakes.

Dhoni, then on 38 off 48, brought his signature game to the fore that was marked by steely resolve and brute power. Dhoni afterwards raced to 38 off 18, repeatedly using his helicopter shot to great effect.
The right-hander fell with four balls to go in the innings but Jadeja dispatched Dernbach’s final three balls to the fence, collecting 14 runs and providing the hosts a genuine chance of victory.

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