Barabati Stadium stood witness to one of the grandest victory for the Indian Cricket team in its vast history. The intriguing factors and the running excitement throughout the whole stadium were absolutely fantastic and the volumes in which audience supported the match was truly inspiring. Nearly 60,000 spectators had come to watch the Clash between India and England where Yuvraj Singh’s maiden 150 and MS Dhoni’s 134 helped India achieve a 15-run win against England and to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series.
The gate for entrance opened at 10:30 AM and soon the stadium was filled with joyous and people hailing from all around the globe.
The toss started soon and England won it, deciding to bowl first. Unfortunately for them, the toss was the only thing they won. The innings was opened by KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan for India. The first ball was hit for an exquisite cover drive leading to a four. From then, India didn’t show any signs of slowing down until the sudden fall of 3 wickets. KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli (the Indian captain) all departed with small but fierce innings.
Then came Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni to take the responsibilities of an early pressurized match onto their shoulders. As the run rate was still four, the Indian team needed to escalate quickly to regain its dominance in the match. Yuvraj Singh took the lead, while Mahendra Singh Dhoni supported his stand with a defensive play. The Indian team scored over 50 boundaries including fours and sixes around all the angles in the stadium.
Yuvraj Singh notched up his highest individual score in ODIs as India slammed 381/6, a record score in Cuttack
MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh shared a 256-run stand against England for the fourth wicket
Yuvraj Singh went on to score 150, his best ODI figures till date, studded with 21 boundaries and three sixes, while Mahendra Singh Dhoni quickly regained speed from a mere 25 from 50 balls to 134 runs in 122 balls. His innings contained six sixes, including three in a Liam Plunkett over. Other batsmen, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja also played small cameos to help India reach the highest score in Barabati, 381.
MS Dhoni of India plays a shot during the match
The England innings was opened by Alexis Hales and Jason Roy. Too much pressure was the result of cracking shots from the beginning of the innings. As Hales departed early, the England innings was supported by Jason Roy and Joe Root who made a partnership of more than hundred runs and scored a half century each. Eoin Morgan then seemed to be a tension for India as he did not stop thrashing Indian bowlers and went on to score a century which contained five sixes.
The real tension and the excitement in the stadium filled to the brim when there were only 5 overs left and 63 runs to be scored. The English batsmen were still sending the ball out of the boundary. The wickets were falling in a slow rate, but the boundaries were coming often. It was a last moment adrenaline driven match. All the bowlers of the Indian team were successful to take wickets of the England team subsiding the run chase to be more thrilled.
R. Ashwin managed to take 3 wickets; Jasprit Bumrah took 2 wickets, while Jadeja and Bhubaneswar Kumar clinched 1 wicket each.
Hopefully, India emerged victorious in this nail biting hell of a match and the highest score in Cuttack and a record of 747 runs and 3 individual centuries that was scored in one match.
Spectators seen during the match
One of the most wonderful thing that has changed since the last Barabati controversy was great appreciation for all the players be it India or England. Every lovely shot was followed by a round of applause and as the evening closed by, the whole stadium turned into a luminescent carpet of flashes making it look magical and one of the most beautiful scene in a cricket match. Surely, Cuttack has matured a lot and hopefully will be host to more matches in future.
(Content and photograph contribution by Sandeep Hati)