Kohli carves out India’s victory


World champions India rattled England once again with bat and ball to win the second one-dayer by eight wickets on Monday and take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. Seamer Vinay Kumar returned with his best international figures of four for 30 as a lacklustre England were shot out for 237 in good batting conditions at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground in New Delhi. Virat Kohli then smashed an unbeaten 112, his seventh one-day century, and Gautam Gambhir made 84 not out as the under-strength hosts surpassed the modest target under lights in the 37th over. Tempers flared in the second session between England’s fielders and India’s batsmen, forcing the umpires to intervene on at least three occasions. India, depleted by the absence of seven World Cup-winning stars due to injury or poor form, will wrap up the series if they win the third match in Mohali on Thursday.
The hosts had won the first game in Hyderabad by 126 runs last Friday. A series win will help Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men make amends for the disastrous tour of England recently where they were blanked 4-0 in the Test series before losing the one-dayers 3-0. “I’m glad we’re back to our winning ways, it’s really good,” said Dhoni. “Of course the tour of England was not a good one for us, but the team showed character to bounce back. “We needed a good start and Vinay and the other bowlers gave us that with regular wickets. Virat batted very well and Gautam played brilliantly.
“This was a good one-day wicket but I would have preferred a bit more turn. I think a turning wicket is a sporting track in India.”
Dhoni, asked if he was looking for a 5-0 sweep, said: “For us it’s all about winning one game at a time and improving ourselves as cricketers, especially with so many youngsters in the side.” Kevin Pietersen’s 46 was the top score for England as wickets tumbled at regular intervals after captain Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat on an easy-paced pitch. Fast bowler Tim Bresnan gave England a lifeline when he removed both openers, Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane, by the seventh over to make India 29-2.
But Delhi team-mates Kohli and Gambhir delighted some 30,000 home fans with an 209-run winning partnership that took India home.
England had made a disastrous start, losing openers Cook and Craig Kieswetter before a run had been scored.
Cook admitted the bad start affected his team. “It’s a long way back from zero for two,” he said. “We got a lot of 30s and 40s but we know that does not win a game. “Virat and Gambhir showed us how it’s done. Credit to the way they played. There was one half-chance, but apart from that they gave us nothing. “We prepared well in the practice games, but we have not translated that to the main games. We need to score more runs, and our fielding was not quite to standard.”