Second Blind ODI - England v India: India won convincingly by a margin of 151 runs but, as expected, the game was more keenly contested than the first match of the series.
India won the toss and decided to bat on a sunny day on a beautifully prepared wicket. Luke Sugg then created history by becoming the first Englishman to take four wickets in an innings as India amassed a total of 415 in their 40 overs.
India were contained initially as the field was set for the favoured shots through mid off and mid on but eventually Prakash and Ajaya Reddy played shots all round the wicket in their 2nd wicket stand of 260 in 23 overs. Reddy who reached his hundred in 77 balls played second fiddle for much of the time to the explosive Prakash who hit 23 4s and 3 6s in his 149 off 95 deliveries. The early dismissal of Subhash Bhoya for 8, bowled by Sugg, gave England hope with Heindrich Swanepoel maintaining a steady line at the other end.
Despite some excellent support in the field and a probing spell from Nathan Foy who eventually bowled Prakash, the other bowlers could not always contain the Indian batsmen and a couple of difficult chances went down in this period. Hitesh Patel scored a brisk 53 in 28 balls as he grew in confidence, encouraged by his exuberant team mates,,during his short innings.
Sugg who finished with figures of 8-0-56-4 was applauded by his team mates as he led them off. When England batted, a steady start was needed to ensure that the full 40 overs were used and that the middle order had a foundation from which to chase down the target.
It started well but Matt Dean was caught by Hitesh Patel for 10 bringing Nathan Foy to the crease. Foy added 55 with Dan Field. Field who had started to find the boundary regularly fell to Reddy’s first ball when the opening bowler had been recalled immediately for his second spell. Luke Sugg added 59 with Foy until he was bowled by Ketan Patel who himself took 4 wickets.
Foy went to his hundred in 48 balls but, despite regularly losing partners, kept open the possibility of a victory. With a run rate of 15 just within his grasp he was caught by Prakash as risks had to be taken.
Swanepoel had added valuable support in a 7th wicket stand of 63 but England fell short in only 31.2 overs.
Ketan Patel returned figures of 8-0-102-4 in a match in which, unusually, 11 of the 17 dismissals were bowled and only 2 run out.
After the excellent support and hospitality including the use of an early version of an electronic scoreboard at Malvern Cricket Club, the teams have a rest day before facing each other again at Barnards Green CC on Friday.