India drew level in the five-match one-day series with an emphatic 127-run win over England at Kochi. The result has also knocked Alistair Cook’s side off the top of the ICC world rankings.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni fired an impressive knock once again, scoring 72 to help his team make a recovery from 119-4 to post 285-6 after winning the toss and electing to bat.
England’s reply never got going as they were bundled over for just 158, as Bhuvenshwar Kumar finished with impressive bowling figures of three for 29.
The three lion’s seamers bowled well early on, as both Steve Finn and Jade Dernbach hit the stumps in the first five overs to send openers Ajinkiya Rahane and Ghautam Ghambhir back to the pavilion.
After the openers departed, with Yuvraj Singh’s 32 and Virat Kohli scoring 37, India’s boundary count got moving and the pair guided India to 44-2 after the opening powerplay.
Yuvraj was soon sent packing however, as he was given out lbw incorrectly to spinner James Tredwell.
Kohli continued his patient innings by sharing a stand of 48 with Suresh Raina, cutting loose and launching a maximum over extra-cover before hitting the ball straight to Ian Bell to give Chris Woakes a wicket in his first match versus India.
Raina was now joined in the middle by MS Dhoni, and during the batting powerplay England made a fight back slowing India down, Finn and Dernbach only conceding 21 runs in the five overs and dismissing Raina for 55 leaving the hosts on 177-5.
The left handers dismissal charged Dhoni up, and after an angry spat with Dernbach, he found the ropes regularly taking the attack to Finn and Woakes reaching his 50 off 56 balls.
Ravindra Jadeja equalled his skipper with some clean hits, outgunning the captain’s strike rate reaching his own half century from just 35 deliveries including two sixes. India scored 45 runs from the last three overs of the innings, to reach a possible match winning total, as the pitch was slowing down for the second innings.
England’s reply got off to the worst possible start, when Shami Ahemd had Ian Bell caught behind for one in the second over.
After Bell’s dismissal, Alaistair Cook and Kevin Pietersen moved England onto 58 inside 10 overs. The England skipper was given out in unfortunate circumstances, the umpire rewarded Kumar with an lbw decision off a delivery that pitched outside leg stump.
Pietersen sailed onto 42 and was beginning to get the run rate moving before Kumar struck twice in three balls, sneaking one past Pietersen into the middle stump and Eoin Morgan was on his way when he prodded through to Dhoni.
The ball was now turning for Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin, as both spinners created problems for the English batsmen. Craig Kieswetter (18) and Joe Root (38) assessed well for a while before both got out.
Kieswetter pushed Ashwin to mid-wicket whilst Root dragged an arm ball from Jadeja back onto his stumps.
Samit Patel clubbed an unbeaten 30 on the last wicket, however the Indian spinners shared the remaining wickets to polish off the tail dismissing England inside 36 overs.
With the two teams evenly poised, the series will now move to Ranchi for the third ODI on Saturday.