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Yuvraj reigns over England again

November 17, 2008 14:23 IST
Last Updated: November 17, 2008 17:09 IST

Yuvraj Singh [Images] clobbered his second successive century and then scalped four key wickets as India maintained their stranglehold over England [Images], thrashing the visitors by 54 runs, in the second One-Day International in Indore on Monday.

The home side rode on Yuvraj's scintillating 118 to post a competitive 292 for 9 and then bundled out England for 238 in 47 overs to take a 2-0 lead in the seven-match series.

The 26-year-old Yuvraj, who recovered from a back injury just in time to be drafted into the team, came up with a stunning all-round display to play the pivotal role in India's victory on a rather slow track at the Maharani Usharaje Trust ground.

Yuvraj, who had blasted an unbeaten 138 off just 78 balls in the first one-dayer in Rajkot to mark his return to form, not only notched his tenth century but also helped the hosts recover from an early slump, which saw them tottering at 29 for three at one stage.

He then proved his ability as a left-arm spinner by returning dream figures of 10-0-28-4, which included the prized scalps of Andrew Flintoff [Images], Kevin Pietersen [Images] and Owais Shah.

The Punjab swashbuckler stitched 134 runs for the fourth wicket with the in-form Gautam Gambhir [Images] (70), while the lanky Yusuf Pathan provided late sparks to the innings with a savage unbeaten 50 off just 29 balls.

The England innings never really got the momentum to overhaul India's target as none of the batsmen really got big knocks needed to keep them in the hunt.

Owais Shah (58), Andrew Flintoff (43), Matt Prior [Images] (38) and Kevin Pietersen (33) got the starts but could not hang around long enough.

The two teams now travel to Kanpur for the third game, at the Green Park stadium, on Thursday.

England's innings began on a disastrous note as opener Ian Bell [Images] was run-out in the first over, thanks to a brilliant piece of fielding by Suresh Raina, whose direct hit at the non-striker's end gave India the first wicket.

Matt Prior and Owais Shah then steadied the innings to some extent with a 96-run partnership for the second wicket. The two batsmen were quite content in keeping the scoreboard ticking with pushes and nudges while hitting the occasional boundary.

The introduction of the spinners from the 16th over checked the runs for the visitors, resulting in the asking rate climbing beyond eight runs per over.

The tourists lost the wickets of Shah (58) and Prior (38) in the span of three overs to tilt the scale in India's favour at the stage.

Yuvraj accounted for both the wickets, first trapping Shah leg before wicket and then bowled Prior with a ball that turned a bit.

England opted to take the batting powerplay from the 32nd over and suddenly the runs started coming briskly with captain Kevin Pietersen and the dangerous Andrew Flintoff belting 59 runs in those five overs.

Just when England showed signs of coming back into the match with some lusty hits, Yuvraj came to the hosts' rescue by getting rid of Flintoff and Pietersen in the same over to change the complexion of the game.

With the visitors reduced to 185 for five after 38 overs following Yuvraj's dramatic over, the Indians had the game under control and it was only a matter of bowling tightly in the slog overs with the asking rate having climbed steeply.

Earlier, it was Yuvraj who stole the thunder for the second time on the trot. He struck two sixes and 15 fours and also cobbled a crucial century stand with Gambhir, who slammed his second successive half century in the series when making 70 off 76 balls.

Towards the end, birthday boy Yusuf Pathan, who failed at Rajkot, hammered an unbeaten 50 in only 29 balls by clobbering four sixes, including two in the last over bowled by Steve Harmison, and two fours to finish the innings on a high note.

The hosts lost the wickets of opener Virender Sehwag [Images] (1), Suresh Raina (4) and Rohit Sharma (3) in quick succession with Stuart Broad doing all the damage early in the morning.

While Gambhir continued to show his good form since the series against Australia [Images], Yuvraj had to play differently, mostly with nudges and tickles, from what he had done at Rajkot where he carted the bowlers with impunity.

The Punjab batsman adapted well to the slower pace of the wicket here and still scored at a fast pace, completing his century in only 107 balls with the help of two sixes and 12 fours.

He finally fell to Broad, in the 44th over when trying to drive the England pacer during the batting side's Power Play taken between the 43rd to 47th over with the score reading 239.

Complete coverage: England in India 2008

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