Star batsmen Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni were at their vintage best here on Thursday powering India to 381/6 in their second One-day International (ODI) cricket match against England.
Yuvraj, who returned to the national side on the back of some prolific scores for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy, looked in ominous touch as he went on to amass his career-best score of 150 runs in only 127 deliveries, comprising 21 fours and three huge sixes at the Barabati Stadium here.
With this blistering knock, the southpaw also surpassed Sachin Tendulkar (1,455) to become India’s highest run-getter against England with 1,463 runs.
Yuvraj’s century on Thursday was a throwback to the 2008 series against England where he scored back-to-back hundreds in Rajkot and Indore in big wins for India.
Returning to the side after a three-year hiatus, the 35-year-old left-hander consumed 98 ball to bring up his career’s 14th ODI ton and also eclipsed his own record of 138 to become the highest run-getter at this ground. He also became the first Indian player to score a 150 against England in ODIs.
Coming in to bat with India reeling at 25/3, the southpaw took his time in the middle before forging a 100-run stand with the former India skipper off 118 balls.
The right-left combo continued to hammer the English bowlers all over the park as Dhoni also got to his 10th ODI ton off 106 balls.
Yuvraj, who by now had added 256 runs for the fourth wicket with Dhoni, perished after an attempted drive resulted in a thickish edge to England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler to hand Chris Woakes his fourth wicket of the match.
Meanwhile, Dhoni, who relinquished the limited overs captaincy ahead of the series commencement, showed glimpses of his vintage self, when he went after the English pacers at will even after Yuvraj’s departure.
After surviving a dropped chance even before reaching his 50 off 68 balls, Dhoni kept on frustrating the English bowlers, bludgeoning six massive sixes and 10 fours before falling to pacer Liam Plunkett in the 48th over of the innings.
The fall of wickets of Dhoni and Yuvraj, however, did not stop incoming Kedar Jadhav (22 off 10 balls), Hardik Pandya (19 not out off 9) and Ravindra Jadeja (16 not out off 8) to play their stokes and push the total to a massive 381/6.
Jadhav, who blasted three fours and a six, added 42 runs for the fifth wicket with Dhoni while Pandya smashed two fours and a six before adding 35 with the Ranchi stumper.
Dhoni’s dismissal brought in Jadeja, who hit a four and a six to add 23 runs with Pandya for the seventh wicket.
Earlier, after being sent in to bat, India were once again off to a poor start with the opening duo of Lokesh Rahul (5) and Shikhar Dhawan (11) perishing cheaply.
England, however, paid the price for failing to seize the advantage after dismissing India skipper Virat Kohli (8) for a rare single-digit score as Yuvraj and Dhoni made light work of their bowling line-up.
For the visitors, Woakes was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4/60 while Plunkett took 2/91.