With India set to play the second of three T20Is against England in Cardiff, Cricketnext looks back at the performances at Sophia Gardens in previous years. The 'Men in Blue’ have played four times at the ground and boast of a 3-1 win-loss record. All four games were ODIs, and were played against different oppositions. Here’s a quick recap of them:
England vs India – 2nd ODI (2014)Suresh Raina plays a square-drive during his 75-ball 100 at Cardiff (IMAGE: AFP)
The last time India played at Sophia Gardens was in their previous tour in 2014. With the first ODI of the five-match series abandoned, India went up 1-0 by winning the second ODI comfortably by 133 runs via D/L method. Suresh Raina smashed a 75-ball century pushing India’s total past 300. Rain interruption prior to the start of the run-chase resulted in England being given a revised target of 295 from 47 overs. Ravindra Jadeja was the star with the ball ending with figures of 4/28, which included the prized scalp of the well-set Alex Hales. England were bowled out for just 161.
Interestingly, India set the same target against England way back in 2011, but went on to lose the game via D/L method.
India vs Sri Lanka – 2nd Semi-Final, Champions Trophy (2013)Ishant Sharma celebrates after taking the wicket of Lahiru Thirimanne during the 2013 Champions Trophy semi-final (IMAGE: AFP)
India’s successful Champions Trophy campaign in 2013 passed through Sophia Gardens twice. The second game was the semi-final against Sri Lanka in which MS Dhoni’s side thrashed the island nation by eight-wickets in a low scoring game. The moisture on the wicket helped the ball seam, bounce sharply and offered plenty of turn. The Lankan batsmen clearly fell short of answers. Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin ended with three wickets each and the opposition was restricted for 181 in 50 overs. Even MS Dhoni sent down four overs on the day! India had no hiccups chasing down the sub-200 score, with Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli hitting half-centuries, reaching the target with 15 overs to spare.
India vs South Africa – Group Stage, Champions Trophy (2013)Shikhar Dhawan celebrates with Virat Kohli after bringing up his maiden ODI hundred. (IMAGE: AFP)
The last time India played against the Proteas prior to the opening clash of the 2013 Champions Trophy was in the 2011 World Cup, in which the hosts crumbled from 267/1 in the 40th over to 296 all out. However, the script was different this time around, with the middle-order capitalizing on the flying start provided by the new opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. The duo added 127 for the opening wicket, with the southpaw going on to score his first ODI hundred. Ravindra Jadeja’s 29-ball 47 in the final overs propelled India's score to 331/7. MS Dhoni’s clever use of spinners Ravichandran Ashwin, Jadeja and Suresh Raina helped in restricting the opposition. The pacers picked up wickets at regular intervals and nullified potential threats to the target. South Africa were bowled out 29 runs short of the target and India gained confidence heading into the remaining group stage fixtures.
England vs India – 5th ODI (2011)Jonathan Trott shakes hands with Rahul Dravid after he was dismissed in his last ever ODI match (IMAGE: Getty Images)
India’s miserable tour of 2011 ended in Cardiff with a six-wicket loss in the final ODI of the five-match series. Debutant Jonny Bairstow’s 21-ball 41 stole the limelight from Virat Kohli’s century and more importantly, Rahul Dravid’s final ODI. India scored 304 courtesy Kohli’s 107 and MS Dhoni's blitz at the end. Two rain interruptions, pre and mid innings, saw England’s target being reduced to 241 from 34 overs. Half-centuries from Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott, topped off by quick-fire cameos from Ravi Bopara and Bairstow, helped England reach the target with 10 overs to spare. The Three Lions won the series 3-0.