Yuvraj, Dhoni seal series win for India in Cuttack


Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni summoned every ounce of their experience as a stunning partnership of 256 guided India to a decisive 15-run victory in the second one-day international against England. 

Having triumphed by three wickets in the opening match in Pune on Sunday, India have taken an unassailable lead and can now secure a whitewash in the final contest in Kolkata this weekend.

Yuvraj and Dhoni were brought together with India languishing on 25-3 after Chris Woakes (4-60) had torn through the hosts' top order - including taking the prized wicket of captain Virat Kohli for just eight.

England smelled blood, but Yuvraj and Dhoni had other ideas and the former led a sparky counter-attack alongside his ex-skipper to initially steady the ship and then overwhelm England's slapdash attack, the hosts reaching a mammoth 381-6.

When Yuvraj departed for an ODI-best 150, he and Dhoni had combined for the second-highest fourth-wicket partnership in 50-over history and the superstar former captain continued the fight before holing out for 134.

Jason Roy (82) and Joe Root (54) headed England's spirited response, but the innings was lacking the same individual brilliance that had lit up India's, aside from captain Eoin Morgan, who led a lower-order charge with a superb 102, but it came too late to salvage anything for the tourists.

As in the opener, Morgan can find positives from his side's display - particularly their ability to put India's innings on the back foot.

Woakes bowled brilliantly, taking KL Rahul's (5) edge on a clever length before a wide yorker surprised Kohli and a diving Ben Stokes did the business at second slip. Shikhar Dhawan swishing Woakes onto his own stumps for 11 gave England control.

In contrasting styles, Yuvraj and Dhoni were sensational in snatching it right back.

With Yuvraj ticking along at a run a ball, the team 100 took almost 20 overs to bring up, but it prompted the previously patient Dhoni to put his foot down, making the most of being dropped by Jake Ball on 43.

Yuvraj was in tears as he brought up his first ODI century since the 2011 World Cup, the ice-cool Dhoni giving his partner a pep talk.

Perhaps heeding his own words, Dhoni's first 50 had taken 68 balls, but for his second he needed just 38.

Missing out on a maximum after the ball hit the spidercam's wires, Dhoni bludgeoned the next delivery over Woakes' head - his 200th ODI six - to reach 99.

Enjoying a freedom that giving up the captaincy has allowed him, Dhoni reached three figures with an uncontrolled hook to the leg side that Alex Hales could not get underneath in time.

Woakes returned to get the wicket of Yuvraj, feathering through to Jos Buttler, and Dhoni was out when trying to follow up a six off Liam Plunkett with another monster hit, only to find David Willey at deep square leg, but the damage was done and England required 382.

Given India's poor start, England always looked ahead of the rate but Roy and Root's composed partnership was ended at 100 as Ravindra Jadeja (1-45) and Ravichandran Ashwin (3-65) once again left England.

Root was out trying to slog sweep Ashwin and Jadeja bowled Roy to leave England struggling in their attempts to see out the slow bowlers.

Stokes (1) and Buttler (10) could not offer Morgan assistance, and any hopes of a wondrous chase were extinguished with Moeen Ali's wicket for 55, snapping a 93-run union with the skipper.