Score: India 187 for eight (Rahane 54, Raina 40; Swann 3-33, Bresnan 3-43)
England’s unblemished summer of success against India was put under real threat at the Rose Bowl when rain finally relented to allow the 2nd ODI to start – albeit five hours late and with the contest reduced from 50 to 23 overs per side.
The hosts won all four Tests, then claimed victory in the solitary T20 international before seeing the first one-day international, at Chester-le-Street, abandoned (following a downpour) when they were in a spot of bother.
As happened at the Riverside Ground, it was India’s openers – Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane – who put England on the back foot from the outset. Although their stand was worth just 30 this time (as opposed to 82 on Saturday), the pair set a perfect tone under the floodlights.
Patel, who twice pulled Tim Bresnan over the rope for meaty sixes, rushed to 28 from 18 balls before thin edging a catch behind off Jimmy Anderson. Then Rahane took charge, accelerating to a fine half-century (from 40 deliveries) with the help of five fours and a huge pulled six off Stuart Broad.
Reasonably enough, many people left the ground during a horribly soggy afternoon. But most of them returned once the action began and, while not full, the Rose Bowl was well populated once the action began
Plenty of the paying customers were supporting the visitors – and even when England removed the openers, India’s followers had plenty to shout about as Rahul Dravid chipped in with 32 before Suresh Raina gave the innings a potentially decisive lift.
Raina may have been found wanting in the Test series but he hit the ball ferociously hard while roaring to 40 off 19 balls. Jade Dernbach, twice, and Bresnan were put over the rope as India’s total climbed to menacing proportions.
Spinner Graeme Swann – back in the side after being laid low by a virus last weekend – was England’s most successful bowler. But while his return to the line-up boosted the home side, the absence of Eoin Morgan (shoulder) left them short of middle order batting firepower.
Even so, India knew they still had plenty of work to do. But a side now missing eight players through injury could at least dream of their first victory over England this tour.