2nd ODI, Highlights: Stokes, Bairstow Juggernaut Helps England Equalize
Ben Stokes' fiery 52-ball 99 and Jonny Bairstow's 112-ball 124 wreaked havoc as England bounced back in style to equalize the 3-match ODI series 1-1 with a 6-wicket win in Pune on Friday. India, batting first, rode on KL Rahul's solid 108 (114) and Rishabh Pant's 77 (40), to post 336-6 on board. But England barely broke a sweat to chase down the target in 43.3 overs.
Stokes in particular was in his lethal best, scoring the quickest ODI 99. It was unfortunate that he didn't reach his 100, courtesy some smart bowling by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but the damages he created with his merciless hitting was beyond repair! At one point, it was impossible to fathom whether it was indeed an international one-day match in progress, or it was a six-hitting contest in full swing! Stokes and Bairstow added 17 sixes together!
Bairstow paced his innings well and created two strong parternships, first with Jason Roy (110 off 102) and then with Stokes (175 off 117) to sweep the match out of india's grip. India's bowling looked abnormally pale until Bhuvneshwar and Prasidh Krishna re-instilled some hope with 3 quick wickets in the 36th and 37th overs. While Bhuvneshwar sent the most dangerous Stokes back, Prasidh accounted for Bairstow and Jos Buttler (0) in the same over.
Prasidh's yorker that castled Bairstow catapulted the entire Indian team into the familiar fighting spirit. However, it was too little too late. England barely required to score at less than 4 RPO and despite the triple jolt, debutant Liam Livingstone (27 off 21) and Dawid Malan (16 off 23) had no difficulties in getting England home.
India and England play their last game on Sunday. It will be a series decider and, going by the current trends, it promises to be another run fest!