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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yuvraj's heroics sink England again

Yuvraj Singh blasted his second consecutive century and grabbed four wickets to guide India to a comfortable 54-run win over England in the second one-day international on Monday.

The 26-year-old hit 118 to lift India out of trouble at 29 for three and to an imposing 292 for nine before denting England's fightback, putting the hosts 2-0 up in the seven-game series.

England collapsed to 238 all out after Yuvraj ended a 96-run second-wicket partnership by removing Owais Shah (58) and Matt Prior (38) in successive overs before returning 4-28 bowling slow left-arm spin on a sluggish pitch.

He returned to dismiss Andrew Flintoff (43) and skipper Kevin Pietersen (33) in the same over after their racy 74-run fourth-wicket partnership had kept alive England hopes before they lost four wickets for eight runs.

"At 29-3 we definitely felt we had a chance (but) we probably slipped there," Pietersen said. "And after the Power Play I think Freddie and I took it quite nicely to get the momentum back but unfortunately we lost ourselves to Yuvraj.

"He again played a fantastic game today, scoring a 100 and taking four for nothing, I mean the boy is playing good cricket."

Yuvraj, who stroked 138 not out to set up India's crushing 158-run win in Friday's first contest of the seven-match series, took over after young paceman Stuart Broad's triple strike left the hosts reeling at 29 for three.

He struck his 10th one-day hundred and added 134 runs for the fourth wicket with opener Gautam Gambhir, who made 70 for his second fifty of the series.

Broad removed Yuvraj to return four for 55 but Yusuf Pathan hammered 50 not out from 29 balls on his 26th birthday to help India regain the initiative.

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