In the second ODI of the England tour of India, Jos Butler won the toss and chose to bowl at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow powers England to a comprehensive six-wicket victory in the second match of the bilateral series. England 337/4, Jonny Bairstow (124), Prasidh Krishna (2/58). After the first two games, the ODI series is currently levelled with 1-1.
Jason Roy (55) and Jonny Bairstow had a slow start to their powerplay, but they started shifting the gears with every passing over. They managed to score 59 runs in the powerplay without losing a single wicket which laid the foundation for the big run chase. The opening pair conjured 110 runs for the first wicket partnership. After a couple of 40’s, Roy finally managed to get past the 50-run mark, Bairstow also completed his half-century in the 17th over. India broke the match threatening partnership in the same over when Roy was stranded in the middle of the pitch in a mishap while running between the wickets. Ben Stokes walked in to bat at number three and took his time to settle in at the crease. The two batsmen started to accelerate in the middle overs to get the run rate under control. Stokes was anchoring the chase while Bairstow played the supporting role. Stokes took on the Indian spinners and left them clueless. After every over a small meeting used to take place discussing plans to dismiss this wrecking partnership. In the 31st over, Bairstow was batting at 95, the opener smashed a six at the deep mid-wicket and got to his 11th ODI ton. The small team meetings on the field didn’t work out for India as Stokes smashed three consecutive sixes to Kuldeep Yadav and garnered 20 runs in the 33rd over. In the following over, Stokes hammered Krunal Pandya for 26 runs and took apart the Indian bowling apart. The hammering continued in the next over, when Bairstow hit Prasidh Krishna for more 15 runs. Stokes’ terrific innings came to an end when the all-rounder was just one run shy of his century, the southpaw edged the ball while playing the pull shot in the 36th over. Stokes’ 99 was decorated with 10 sixes and three fours. Krishna struck twice when the youngster got rid of Bairstow and Jos Butler in the same over. Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone were the two new batsmen at the crease. England lost three quick wickets in less than eight balls but the run rate was under four runs per over. After a couple of silent overs, Livingstone got 15 runs off the Bhuvneshwar over which sent a sense of relief in the England camp.
Crucial contributions with the bat from Roy, Bairstow and Stokes with a finishing touch from Livingstone helped England to keep the ODI bilateral series alive. For India, Krishna pocketed two wickets while Kumar grabbed one.