Yuzvendra Chahal celebrates after taking a wicket.© AFP
Yuzvendra Chahal’s clever variations complemented by Hardik Pandya’s steady fast medium bowling saw India bowl out England for a manageable 246 in 49 overs in the second ODI at the Lord’s on Thursday. However, it was Moeen Ali (47 off 64 balls) who took the attack back to the opposition camp with his audacious hooked and pulled sixes interspersed with slog sweeps as England’s total had some semblance of respectability after the feared top-order promised much but delivered little.
With the figures of 4/47, Chahal has now got the best returns for an Indian bowler in ODIs at Lord’s. He surpassed Mohinder Amarnath’s figures of 3/12 against West Indies in the 1983 World Cup Final.
Moeen and David Willey (41 off 49 balls) added 62 runs for the seventh wicket to help set up a 250-run target after 200 looked improbable at one point in time.
On a two-paced track, Chahal (10-0-47-4) was brilliant in managing his lengths while giving the ball a lot of air as he got rid of England’s ‘Big Three’ — Jonny Bairstow (31), Joe Root (11) and Ben Stokes (21) — and then snuffed out Moeen just when he was looking dangerous.
At the other end, Pandya (6-0-28-2), who is slowly getting his bowling rhythm back, chipped in with wickets of Jason Roy (23) and Liam Livingstone (33) to choke the run-flow as Rohit Sharma had another fine day in office, maneuvering his six-man attack.
Mohammed Shami (10-0-48-1) was regal as usual as he castled rival skipper Jos Buttler (4) with a sharp inswinger that tailed in late.
Jasprit Bumrah (10-1-49-2) and Shami were once again in the zone although it wasn’t as big a debacle for England compared to the opening game.
It was a steady start for England as Roy first tried breaking the shackles by charging down the track off Shami and blasted him over mid-wicket for a six and then whipped him through the same region for a boundary.
Rohit showed great improvisation skills when he got Pandya within the Powerplay. Roy went for a cheeky flick and Suryakumar Yadav stationed some yards inside at backward square leg boundary had the easiest of catches.
It was during the middle overs that Chahal was excellent as he controlled the white Kookaburra like a yo-yo, at times pushing the delivery fuller to deceive Bairstow going for a sweep shot with no room available.
In case of Root, there was enough flight but the length slightly shortened as he went for the sweep and missed the line.
Stokes tried a reverse sweep off a straight delivery and Livingstone, after a run-a-ball 33, was holed out in the deep off Pandya, and trouble loomed large for the home team.
But Moeen, knowing that Indian bowlers will pepper him with short stuff, handled it well and Willey, at the other end, was steady like the first game as the duo took the England past the 200-run mark.
Chahal capped off his fine spell when he bowled a bit full and wide, inducing a slog sweep from Moeen towards the longest part of the Lord’s ground. The batter couldn’t clear Ravindra Jadeja, who took a well judged catch running around deep mid-wicket area.
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