Kohli stars in 8 wicket win in 2nd ODI at New Delhi
Virat Kohli, the Royal Challengers Bangalore and India batsman hit his 7th ODI century to take India to an 8 wicket win against England in the second ODI at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi.
The win saw India go 2-0 up in the five ODI series having collected a 126-run win earlier in Hyderabad. England won the toss and elected to bat first only to be bowled out for 237 which India chased down in 36.4 overs for just the loss of Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane.
On the birthday of former RCB captain and current mentor Anil Kumble, at the ground where he took 10 wickets in an innings in a test, two former RCB bowlers began fittingly, by dictating terms to the Englishmen right at the start. Praveen Kumar and Vinay Kumar had reduced England to 0/2 after two overs before another former RCB captain and player Kevin Pietersen started rebuilding the English innings.
The batsmen were never allowed to settle though and partnerships were broken every time they threatened to take England to safety. Vinay’s smart bowling fetched him 4/30 as England were shot out for an underwhelming 237.
India made a fidgety start to their innings as well with Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane taking time to settle but failing to get starts. Virat Kohli walked in to join Gautam Gambhir with the score at 29/2 after 6.5 overs, India still requiring 209 runs from 43 overs, a tricky total on the deceptive Feroz Shah Kotla track, which is why having two local boys to guide them through paid off.
Tim Bresnan and Steve Finn had been running in hard and extracting good bounce out of the pitch but it still only helped Kohli position himself better right at the beginning of his innings. He scored a boundary off each bowler to begin before going for the singles and trying to convert them into two's.
Change brought no respite for Alastair Cook as the dew made it hard for his spinners to get a good grip with their hands or off the surface. Kohli worked Swann, Patel and Dernbach easily into the empty spaces. Pietersen and Bopara too were dealt with harshly, all 5 bowlers going for over 6.50 an over as the Delhi duo more than made up for the cautious start to the innings.
The duo worked the field superbly to steal singles, doubles and boundaries in a performance reminiscent of their match winning partnership against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens on Christmas Eve in December 2010 when both made tons. The increasingly restless and irate fielders in the circle indulged in a lot of talk but Kohli was unfazed and proceeded to silence them with his savage onslaughts on every bowler who was shuffled into the attack by the helpless Cook.
Kohli raced ahead of his senior partner to reach his 50 off 45 balls in the 23rd over of the innings with 7 fours included. He doubled his tally of runs and fours with a ball lesser to reach his 7th ODI century, his 5th in the last 12 months. India was just 23 runs away from the target then and he decided to hit his way there, offering a chance at deep midwicket that was dropped by Jonathan Trott.
A few more hits later India had romped home by eight wickets with Kohli unbeaten on 112 and Gambhir on 84*, a win built on an unbeaten 209 run stand for the third wicket by the local lads. Kohli’s efforts fetched him the Man of the Match award, a wonderful way to end the game in front of his Ranji home crowd and a 2-0 lead for India in the series.