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England overhaul India’s 337 at a canter, level 3-match ODI series

England clinched India with margin of six-wicket in the second match of the 3-match ODI series against England in Pune on Friday. A 99 runs knock from Ben Stokes and a classy century from Jonny Bairstow helped England to chase the total of 337 runs.

Winning the match with 39 balls to spare, England levelled the ODI series by 1-1. The next match will be played in Pune as a series decider of the 3-match ODI series. India has set a big total of 337 on the board on the back of KL Rahul’s century and Rishabh Pant’s 77-runs in just 4o balls.

Chasing an improbable 337, openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow once again got off to a flying start, produced 110 runs for the opening wicket. A sensational fielding effort from Rohit Sharma sent Roy packing for 55 in the 17th over but then Ben Stokes promoted at no.3 and produced a nerve-wrecking batting effort.

Ben Stokes, who has been batting at No. 3 in the absence of Joe Root, completed his fifty in 40 balls but got the next 49 runs in just 12 balls. Stokes fell short of his 4th ODI hundred by just a run. The two Indian spinners Krunal Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav looked hapless as they were taken to the cleaners by the all-rounder.

Stokes combined with Bairstow added 175 runs for the second wicket off just 118 balls and took the game away from India. The 99-run carnage from Stokes saw 4 fours and 10 sixes. His partner Bairstow too got to his 11th ODI century that included 11 fours and 7 sixes.

Both Stokes and Bairstow took all the bowlers to the cleaners, making a mockery of the run chase and almost taking England home themselves. England went from 285 for 1 to 287 for 4 in a span of 2 overs. Three quick dismissals of Stokes, Bairstow and Jos Buttler gave India a slight ray of hope but Stokes-Bairstow combination had brought down the required run rate to such an extent that debutant Liam Livingstone and Dawid Malan got the team to the finish-line without creating any further fuss.

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Only Bhuvneshwar and Krishna managed to escape the England onslaught. India’s inability to use the 6th bowling option despite the presence of Hardik Pandya meant Kuldeep and Krunal had nowhere to hide. The two spinners finished with combined figures of 0 for 156 in 16 overs.

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