INDORE // Yuvraj Singh blasted his second consecutive century and grabbed four wickets to guide India to a comfortable 54-run win over England in the second one-day international today. Singh, 26, top-scored with 118 to lift India out of trouble and to an imposing 292 for nine before denting England's fightback, putting the hosts 2-0 up in the seven-game series. England collapsed to 238 all out after Yuvraj ended a 96-run second-wicket partnership by removing Owais Shah (58) and Matt Prior (38) in successive overs before returning 4-28 bowling slow left-arm spin on a sluggish pitch.
He returned to dismiss Andrew Flintoff (43) and skipper Kevin Pietersen (33) in the same over after their racy 74-run fourth-wicket partnership had kept alive England hopes before they lost four wickets for eight runs. Yuvraj, who stroked 138 not out to set up India's crushing 158-run win in Friday's first contest of the seven-match series, took over after the young paceman Stuart Broad's triple strike left the hosts reeling at 29 for three.
He struck his 10th one-day hundred and added 134 runs for the fourth wicket with opener Gautam Gambhir, who made 70 for his second fifty of the series. Broad removed Yuvraj to return four for 55 but Yusuf Pathan hammered 50 not out from 29 balls on his 26th birthday to help India regain the initiative. Yuvraj again displayed sublime form, showing no signs of a back injury which flared up in his previous innings to pick up his second man-of-the-match award in a row.
Broad, 22, gave England a superb start by removing the opener Virender Sehwag (1) and Suresh Raina (4) in his first two overs before claiming Rohit Sharma (3). However, Yuvraj settled down with fellow left-hander Gambhir. He lofted Paul Collingwood's medium-pace effort for a straight six before pushing him to point for a single to reach his hundred, running with his bat held aloft and punching the air in delight.
Yuvraj cracked 15 fours and two sixes with shots all around the wicket in a 122-ball effort before Broad had him caught behind in the 44th over. Gambhir underlined his fine form by reaching his 13th one-day fifty. Pietersen forced Gambhir to play a sharp off-break onto the stumps and then effected one of two direct run outs. Shah scored his seventh ODI fifty to lead England's response in the company of Prior before Yuvraj trapped him leg before and bowled his partner.
Flintoff hammered the off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for three sixes to help take 21 runs in one over as he and Pietersen rattled up 59 runs in the final set of five overs with field restrictions. Yuvraj, whose confident caught behind appeal against Flintoff on four was turned down, trapped him leg before and bowled Pietersen three balls later to virtually end England's hopes. Sehwag took three wickets for 28 towards the end.
The third ODI will be played in Kanpur on Thursday. *Reuters