PUNE, INDIA (AP) – Lokesh Rahul hit his fifth ODI hundred and Rishabh Pant blasted seven sixes in his aggressive 77 off 40 balls as India scored an imposing 336-6 in the second one-day international against England yesterday.
Rahul followed his unbeaten half century in the first ODI with 108 off 114 balls and anchored India’s total with two strong century stands after England’s stand-in captain Jos Buttler won the toss and elected to field.
India lost both openers – Rohit Sharma (25) and Shikhar Dhawan (4) – to England seamers before Rahul and captain Virat Kohli (66) put the innings back on track with a 121-run stand.
Adil Rashid broke the stand in the 32nd over when he had Kohli caught behind as the India skipper tried to cut the leg-spinner. Rishabh Pant, who replaced the injured Shreyas Iyer in the playing XI, and Rahul then put on a brisk 113-run partnership with the left-handed Pant dominating England’s bowling through his powerful stint.
England’s Curran brothers – Tom (2-83) and Sam (1-47) – proved costly late in the game with India scoring 126 runs off the last 10 overs for the loss of only two wickets.
Rahul, who was criticised after scoring only 15 runs in four Twenty20s, completed his century off 108 balls with a single against Sam Curran in the 44th over before holing out at deep midwicket in Tom Curran’s next over.
Tom Curran also had Pant caught in the deep, but not before the left-hander slammed two successive sixes against the right-arm fast bowler.
Hardik Pandya (35 off 16 balls) lifted the total with his late cameo after Buttler couldn’t hold onto a thick edge when the batsman was on 21.
Regular captain Eoin Morgan was ruled out of the remaining two ODIs due to a hand injury and Buttler will lead the side in his absence.
Morgan batted in England’s unsuccessful chase during the first ODI despite splitting the webbing between his thumb and index finger while in the field, an injury that required four stitches. Morgan was replaced by Dawid Malan.
Sam Billings also sustained a shoulder injury while fielding in the previous game, prompting England to award an ODI debut to Liam Livingstone while Reece Topley replaced fast bowler Mark Wood.