Raina's ton fuels India's surge

Dhoni's men taste success at last after diastrous outings in the Test series
Last Updated 27 August 2014, 19:46 IST

Suresh Raina smashed his first overseas century as India began their one-day campaign on a resounding note when they trounced England by 133 runs in the second ODI to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series at Sophia Gardens, here on Wednesday.

Put into bat, India, who are looking to put their Test debacle behind them in the limited-overs format, rode Raina’s 75-ball 100 to post a challenging 304 for six in 50 overs.

The 144-run fifth-wicket partnership between Raina, who registered his fourth ODI century, and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (52) was the highlight of the Indian innings.

Rain forced a delayed start to the England innings and the Duckworth-Lewis method revised the hosts’ target to 295 in 47 overs. The hosts were bundled for 161 in 38.1 overs as Indian bowlers for once made their presence felt in English conditions. England opener Alex Hales (40), who was handed his debut cap by skipper Alastair Cook in the morning, was the highest scorer in a disappointing scorecard.

The hosts slumped from 54 for no loss to 85 for five and the slide continued with the overcast conditions doing little to save the batting collapse. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (4-28) was India’s leading wicket-taker after medium-pacer Mohammad Shami (2-32) did the early damage.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2-38) took care of the finishing act while new-ball bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-30) and Raina (1-12) also picked up a wicket each. Shami started the rot in his third over by sending back Cook LBW for 19 and cleaning up Ian Bell for 1. Bhuvneshwar cleaned bowled Joe Root for 4 and Jadeja then turned on the heat to make short work of the England middle and lower-order.

The first match of the series was washed off due to persistent rains in Bristol while the focus now shifts to the third ODI at Trent Bridge on Saturday. For India, Rohit Sharma (52) and Ajinkya Rahane (41) also stitched a 91-run third-wicket partnership to contribute their bit in a good batting performance.

England off-spinner James Tredwell (2-42) removed Rohit and Rahane to disturb the good work done by the two batsmen. Virat Kohli’s bad run with the bat continued as the No 3 batsman was ousted by Chris Woakes (4-52) for nought to put India in trouble at 19 for two.

But once Rohit and Rahane built a platform, Raina and Dhoni picked it up from there and helped the team score 147 runs in the final 15 overs with 62 off them coming in the batting powerplays (35-40). Match-of-the-match Raina’s knock was laced with 12 fours and three sixes as Dhoni, who struck his 55th ODI half-century smashed 6 boundaries.

In reply, England were off to a comfortable start despite the Indian medium-pacers getting good purchase under heavy cloud cover. They beat Cook and Hales on many occasions, but the desired returns never came through as the duo added 45 runs without loss in the first 9 overs.

But two wickets in one over from Shami changed the tide as the new batsmen at the crease couldn’t survive under pressure of keeping tabs with the D/L par-scores. The conditions didn’t help either as the Indian bowlers were making the ball nip around.

(Published 27 August 2014, 19:45 IST)

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