Rahane blitz spurs India

Rahane blitz spurs India

Debutant makes quickfire 61 to set hosts England 166-run target

Rahane blitz spurs India

The opulent, sprawling United’s bastion quite comfortably dwarfs its neighbouring venue in majesty and grandeur but the atmosphere on Wednesday during the lone T20 international between England and India was no less incredible. A packed stadium, mostly comprising the boisterous Indian supporters, made up for a carnival type of ambience as India thoroughly entertained the capacity crowd with an ultra aggressive brand of cricket.

Opting to bat first, the visitors put on a competitive 165 all out in 19.4 overs.
Debutant Ajinkya Rahane (61, 39b, 8x4) lit up the stadium with a flamboyant half-century that was marked by as much audacity as deftness. Betraying few signs of a batsman playing his first international, the Mumbai batsman took on the might of the English attack and came through with flying colours. The little right-hander began cutting Jade Derbach uppishly towards point boundary and then hooked Tim Bresnan, one of England’s best bowlers during the Test series, with impunity.

Then it was the turn of skipper Stuart Broad, the man of the series in Tests, to face Rahane’s belligerence. The right-hander, who survived a run-out chance early in his innings, pulled the paceman towards fine-leg fence and when a fielder was brought in that place, he elegantly flicked the bowler through mid-wicket for the same result. Parthiv Patel largely remained a mute spectator as his junior partner Rahane took the centre stage. Parthiv soon fell in an attempt to force the pace and in walked Rahul Dravid (31, 21b, 3x6) to a rapturous welcome for the first and also the last time in a T20 match for India.

Running picking ones and twos while giving majority of the strike to an on-song Rahane, Dravid cut loose against Samit Patel in a way that he has seldom done. The left-arm spinner had done well in his previous two overs going for just 12 runs, but Dravid picked him up for some special treatment in the next over. The first three balls went for only four runs after which Dravid deposited the stocky bowler for three consecutive sixes. The first one sailed over long-on and the Bangalorean followed it up with an even bigger six in the same arc. Then came the slog-sweep and the ball disappeared a few rows behind the mid-wicket fence and the crowd went berserk.

The 38-year-old fell in the next over Ravi Bopara, ending a very productive 65-run association off 42 balls, and that was followed by a mini-collapse. Rahane and Virat Kohli were dismissed in the next over while Rohit Sharma departed an over after that. From 104 for one India slipped 117 for five before captain and vice-captain duo of MS Dhoni and Raina (33, 19b, 2x4, 3x6) brought some sanity. Raina was invited by Broad with two bouncers and when the right-arm quick tried to bounce him again in the next over, Raina took the challenge and pulled Broad over square-leg.

The Uttar Pradesh batsman also sent Bresnan soaring over mid-wicket as the innings came back on track. But India, sitting pretty at 158 for five, suffered another collapse losing five wickets in the space of seven runs and 12 balls to settle for less than they promised.

Score board

Parthiv c Broad b Dernbach    10
(12b, 2x4)
Rahane c Dernbach b Broad    61
(39b, 8x4)
Dravid c Morgan b Bopara    31
(21b, 3x6)
Kohli c Kieswetter b Broad    4
Rohit st Kieswetter b Swann    1
Raina c Broad b Bresnan    33
(19b, 2x4, 3x6)
Dhoni c Hales b Dernbach    8
(8b, 1x4)
Ashwin (run out)    4
(2b, 1x4)
Praveen b Dernbach    1
Vinay (not out)    2
Munaf c Kieswetter b Dernbach    0
Extras (LB-7, W-3)    10
Total (all out, 19.4 overs)    165
Fall of wickets: 1-39 (Parthiv), 2-104 (Dravid), 3-106 (Rahane), 4-108 (Kohli), 5-117 (Rohit), 6-158 (Dhoni), 7-162 (Ashwin), 8-162 (Raina), 9-165 (Praveen).
Bowling: Bresnan 4-0-33-1 (w-2), Dernbach 3.4-0-22-4, Broad 4-0-37-2 (w-1), Samit 3-0-34-0, Swann 4-0-28-1, Bopara 1-0-4-1.
Scoring pattern: after 5 overs: 40/1; 10: 79/1; 15: 129/5; End of Innings: 165 all out in 19.4 overs.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 49/1.