When India posted a seemingly imposing total of 336/6 on the back of KL Rahul’s century and Rishabh Pant’s 77-run rampage, one would have thought that the second ODI in Pune would be a close contest. Instead, it was a walk in the park for England as the visitors won the match with 6.3 overs and six wickets to spare.
Jonny Bairstow slammed a 112-ball 124 as the visitors enjoyed another good opening-wicket partnership, but it was Ben Stokes’ brutal assault on the Indian spinners that ensured England didn’t slip up from a winning position for the second time in the series.
Stokes, coming in at No.3 after Jason Roy was run out for 55, took on the Indian bowlers – smashing 99 off just 52 deliveries.
The all-rounder hit 10 sixes and 4 fours before getting out off a Bhuvneshwar Kumar delivery in the 36th over.
Prasidh Krishna dismissed Bairstow and Jos Buttler in the very next over, giving the hosts some hopes of an unlikely comeback. But by then the required rate was below 4 runs an over and debutant Liam Livingstone along with Dawid Malan ensured that no more damage was done to the visitors.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
Congrats @englandcricket ! Chasing 336 is never easy, but @benstokes38 and @jbairstow21 showed us some of the most audacious power-hitting we’ve seen in a long time. With 1-1, the decider would be exciting. All the best to Team India in the decider! #INDvENG
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) March 26, 2021
Today should be a lesson to India … Playing it safe for 40 overs with Bat might cost them in a World Cup at home in 2 yrs … they have enough power & depth to get scores of 375 + on flat wickets … England leading the way with this approach … #INDvENG
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) March 26, 2021
Great game , well done boys
— Jofra Archer (@JofraArcher) March 26, 2021
England were phenomenal today. Especially @jbairstow21 and @benstokes38. Well done to them on sticking to their aggressive approach despite the hiccup in the first odi. Super Sunday ahead 🤩 #INDvENG pic.twitter.com/KnXhM8be9I
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) March 26, 2021
Absolute carnage this from Bairstow and Stokes. Power hitting of the highest quality. Lot to ponder for Team India. Using only 5 bowlers against this batting lineup too risky?? Series nicely poised. #INDvENG pic.twitter.com/dzfDfzg8fw
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) March 26, 2021
England have scored 300+ runs on 47 occasions in ODIs post WC 2015. They’ve won on 36 occasions. Dangerous batting unit ⚠️ #INDvENG
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) March 26, 2021
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) March 26, 2021
— James Taylor (@jamestaylor20) March 26, 2021
— Ian Bell (@Ian_Bell) March 26, 2021
England win the second ODI and level the series 1-1, courtesy Bairstow and Stokes' knocks.
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) March 26, 2021
This is the first time England have ever successfully chased a 300+ score in an ODI in India. #INDvENG
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) March 26, 2021
So we’re going to an ODI series decider. England wins by six wickets. Many commendable knocks today from both sides. KL Rahul, Kohli, Pant, Hardik, Bairstow and Stokes. Special note of Prasidh’s Yorker 😍 England too good today. See you back here in two nights! 🇮🇳🏴#INDvENG
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) March 26, 2021
The top 3 batsmen for England accumulated 278 runs as they chased down 337 at a canter, with 6.3 overs remaining.
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) March 26, 2021
— CricketTimes.com (@CricketTimesHQ) March 26, 2021
🏴 bounce back and they gotta thank the duo of BEN-STOW for that! 👏
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) March 26, 2021
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 26, 2021