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Monday, November 17, 2008

India v England ODI series - 2nd ODI

Kevin Pietersen rued England's failure to capitalise on a strong start as they were beaten by India in the second one-day international in Indore.

The tourists had India in trouble early on but the hosts recovered to post 292-9 before skittling England for 238.

"We had them at 29-3 and definitely had a chance but we let it slip," said England captain Pietersen.

"We had a good start with the ball and one of the top four getting a big score might have made the game a lot closer."

England's reply got off to the worst possible start when Ian Bell was run out in the opening over.
Pietersen has called on the England batsmen to score more runs

Matt Prior (38), Owais Shah (58), Pietersen (33) and Flintoff (43) all contributed but none to the extent of Yuvraj Singh (118) or Gautam Gambhir (70).

Yuvraj, who also returned figures of 4-28 with his left-arm spin, has now scored critical centuries in each of the opening two ODIs - earning himself two motorbikes for successive man-of-the-match awards.

"Yuvraj has played a fantastic game again today, the boy's playing good cricket," said Pietersen.

India take a 2-0 lead to Kanpur, where the third of seven matches between the sides takes place and Pietersen added: "We improved from the last game, let's hope we can improve some more.

"We need the bowlers to take wickets and the batsmen to score runs."

Yuvraj said he is reaping the benefits of hard work he has been putting in to cement his spot in the team after his recent omission from the Test side.

"I've been training harder, there were a few things in my batting that I needed to control initially when I go into my innings," said the 26-year-old, whose man of the match performances have earned him two motorcycles in four days.

"The harder I work the luckier I get, so that's what I've done.

"I'm not big fan of bikes but I'm going to keep them but the more they come the better. The atmosphere was electrifying and I'd like to thank the people for lovely support."

India captain Mahendra Dhoni heaped praise on Yuvraj and Gambhir after the pair put on 134 runs for the fourth wicket.

"We were looking at getting 200 and then 250 but we ended up getting 290 and I think that owed much to Yuvraj and Gautam," he said.

"Once you are going well you have to take the team through and we really loved his (Yuvraj's) batting.

"We have talented cricketers and we are enjoying our success. We will take one game at a time and look at the third game and then no matter what happens then think of the fourth."

Virender Sehwag insists there will be no let-up from his team in the rest of the series.

"We are putting pressure on England and we'll put pressure on in the next few games also," he said.

"It was very difficult to score runs on this pitch so Full credit to Gautam and Yuvraj. They played so well, and at the end of the innings Yusuf (Pathan) got 50.

"I sent a message to Gautam that anything 220, 240 is a good total on this track. We're enjoying each other's success."

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