VVS Laxman, former India cricketer has hailed the fireworks from the England batting duo of Jonny Bairstow (124) and Ben Stokes (99) in the 2nd ODI against India in Pune on Friday. England chased down a stiff 337-run target with 6 wickets and 39 balls remaining to level the ongoing series 1-1.
Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune saw a carnage of sorts in the 2nd ODI between India and England at Pune on Friday. Rishabh Pant hit a blistering 40-ball 77 to take India’s total to 336/6 in stipulated 50 overs before Jonny Bairstow (124 of 112) and Ben Stokes (99 of 52) produced an even bigger carnage to make a mockery of the stiff 337-run target.
Jonny Bairstow Hits Ton While Ben Stokes Misses Ton By A Whisker
Jonny Bairstow, who scored 94 off 66 in the 1st ODI, waited patiently in the first few overs, before weaving magic in his 112-ball innings. He raced to his 11th ODI hundred to put his team in a very strong commendable position. On the other side of the 22-yard was his very able batting partner all-rounder Ben Stokes.
Ben Stokes reached his fifty in 40 balls and added another 49 in the next 12 balls before getting out on 99. The fashion of dismissal – a faint edge and a catch to Rishabh Pant while trying to pull a Bhuvneshwar Kumar delivery, brought a smile on his face as his teammates gave a standing ovation to him.
Jonny Bairstow scored 124 off 112 balls and Ben Stokes fell 1 run short of a century but he had done the hard work and inflicted damage to India by scoring at a strike rate of 190.38. It was tough to see spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya leaking runs without any sort of control. While Kuldeep Yadav finished with figures of 0 for 84 in 10 overs, Krunal Pandya gave away 72 runs in just 6 overs and he too went wicketless.
VVS Laxman: The Carnage From Jonny Bairstow And Ben Stokes Was Unbelievable As The Onslaught Was Of The Highest Quality
The 175-run partnership for the 3rd wicket off just 117 balls saw the visitors chasing down the mammoth target with 6 wickets and 39 balls remaining. The entire cricketing fraternity has taken note of their stellar show and former Indian batsman VVS Laxman is one of them. VVS Laxman said the carnage from both Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes will be remembered for a long time.
“It was very difficult to get (when 3 quick England wickets fell), just 35 more runs were needed then, even though you got the wicket of Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler. The way Prasidh Krishna came in that over and took 2 wickets.
“I was a little surprised that (he) again went to Krunal Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav because if at all India had to pull off the game it was through the fast bowler, ” said VVS Laxman.
“Virat Kohli missed a trick there but overall an unbelievable onslaught of the highest quality. The power-hitting was unbelievable, the carnage from both Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes will be remembered for a long time. It was just pure class,” VVS Laxman said on Star Sports.
With the 3-match series levelled at 1-1, the third and decisive match on Sunday is sure to witness a few more fireworks from the two cricketing giants. The target of 337 chased down by England is the 3rd highest successful chase against India in ODIs. It’s England’s 4th highest successful chase and highest in Asia.
Earlier, India once again breached the 300 run mark by posting 336/6 courtesy KL Rahul’s 108 and Virat Kohli’s 66. Apart from the duo, Rishabh Pant who replaced an injured Shreyas Iyer scored 77 off only 40 balls with 3 fours and as many as 7 sixes. Hardik Pandya also played a cameo towards the end scoring 35 off 16 balls.