England beaten again by India

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The Independent Online

England descended to a second successive one-day international trouncing after their batsmen let them down - and Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir made them pay - at the Feroz Shah Kotla.

Kohli (112no) and Gambhir (84no) confirmed England's 237 all out was well below par as India coasted to an eight-wicket victory with conspicuous, embarrassing ease and more than 13 overs to spare.

Delhi-born Kohli was especially impressive in an 89-ball hundred containing 14 fours in an unbroken stand of 209 - a record for the third wicket at this venue.

Gambhir was no slouch either, with 10 fours from 90 balls, as the pair dominated an attack who had been set an evidently impossible task.

England are therefore 2-0 down with three matches left in a series already threatening to go the way of two previous limited-overs attempts in this country which resulted in a combined scoreline of 10-1 to India in 2006 and 2008.

Tim Bresnan did his best to revive England's prospects by shifting both openers early in India's otherwise near seamless run chase, and Steven Finn also bowled fast and well with little luck in his new-ball spell from the Tata end.

But the damage was done before England got the ball in their hands, a succession of batsmen having failed to provide lasting recovery from a dreadful start.

Kevin Pietersen top-scored among five who bettered 30 but could not muster a half-century between them on a pitch of reasonable pace but with some unpredictable bounce.

R Vinay Kumar (four for 30) did the most damage to an England innings which ended with Jade Dernbach's appropriately hapless run-out after 48.1 overs.

They twice lost two wickets for no run, starting with ducks for both openers - and were therefore never in position to take proper advantage of a lightning-quick outfield.

Pietersen and Jonathan Trott had to start again in the second over - after Alastair Cook and Craig Kieswetter had departed scoreless; then Jonny Bairstow and Samit Patel did not have a run between them in the 26th, at the start of a resourceful stand of 86.

When England tried to defend their resulting inadequate total, Bresnan thought momentarily he had Parthiv Patel for 10 - only for Graeme Swann to spill the second-slip chance away to his left.

Patel managed only two more before Cook clung on to a head-high chance at mid-on as Bresnan got his man after all.

The Yorkshire seamer stuck to his task again, as Ajinkya Rahane counted six with a slightly-miscued hook just wide of Dernbach at long-leg and then hit the very next ball straight into the same fielder's hands.

There was fleeting and false hope for England, with India 29 for two, but it was routinely and mercilessly extinguished by Kohli in particular.

Cook had earlier departed after four balls of Praveen Kumar's first over, and Kieswetter followed him back in five from Vinay at the other end.

England lurched to nought for two as Cook, who had chosen to bat first, cut Praveen aerially to point and Kieswetter edged Vinay's swing to slip.

Trott and Pietersen left alone a series of outswingers from Vinay and set aside all consideration of the early scoring rate until a rush of boundaries brought them 17 runs in the fifth over from Praveen.

Trott was soon tucking into both India seamers. But just as England appeared to be approaching reasonable health, he went caught behind to the last ball of the mandatory powerplay - a good ball from Vinay which left him off the pitch.

Bopara set the tempo for the fourth-wicket stand, until Pietersen upped the ante with successive straight sixes off Ravindra Jadeja.

But R Ashwin deceived Bopara with an off-break which also kept low to end a stand of 73, and almost immediately Pietersen swished at a wide one and was caught behind off Umesh Yadav.

His poor recent ratio of half-centuries therefore continues.

Sixth-wicket pair Patel and Bairstow batted sensibly and skilfully for the next 16 overs.

Yet when they too went in successive overs, Patel undone by a quick ball from Yadav that kept low and Bairstow well held just inside the long-off boundary by Kohli off Jadeja, it was clear England would have to bowl much better than they had batted to have any chance.

They did - but were simply too far behind the game after such a flawed attempt to set a worthwhile total.