England take 2-0 lead with edgy win

Battling India go down by three wickets

England take 2-0 lead with edgy win

The three-wicket defeat at the hands of England via Duckworth-Lewis method in the third one-dayer here ensured that India would return home without having won a trophy during their forgettable English summer.

On more than one occasion, the visitors threatened to break the trend and win a match against the hosts but those hopes remained a mirage as England built an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the five-match one-day series here at The Oval on Friday night.

With only two matches left in the series (the opener in Chester-le-Street was abandoned due to rain), India at best can expect to draw level, a task that is increasingly looking insurmountable now.

After Dhoni (69, 103b, 5x4) and Jadeja (78, 89b, 10x4) had helped India reach a respectable 234 for seven, a jittery England emerged winners in another rain-hit match. The English were in a spot of bother at 95 for three when a spell of shower stopped play for close to an hour.

If the match hadn’t resumed from that stage, the hosts would still have emerged victors as they were well ahead of the required target of 90/3 in 20 overs. England, however, didn’t have to depend on the vagaries of weather to finish on the right side of the result. Set a revised target of 218 from 43 overs, effectively 123 off 23, England crossed the line after surviving some anxious moments.

The home team was cruising at 87 for one when India hit back through their spin duo. Jadeja, who had batted excellently for his highest ODI knock after India had been left reeling at 58 for five, cleaned up the dangerous Craig Kieswetter (51, 46b, 3x4, 3x6) while R Ashwin (3/40) administered the same dosage to Jonathan Trott to throw open the game.

After the rain delay, England, with the revised target at hand, began smoothly through Ian Bell and Ben Stokes. With the ball skidding on nicely to the bat in the post-rain play, the two picked up runs without breaking much sweat and appeared to be taking the game away from India when Dhoni effected a smart run-out to eject Bell.

Ashwin, the best bowler on the scene by some distance, then bowled Stokes off a full-toss and India were back in the game once again. With the required run-rate hovering just around 5.50, India’s only chance of winning the match was by taking wickets and they seemed to be up to the task until Ravi Bopara (40) and Tim Bresnan (28) joined forces to forge a 60-run association to dash their hopes. England needed 25 more when Jadeja removed Bresnan to break the stodgy alliance, but Bopara and the rest took the hosts home.

Jadeja successfully manned the fifth bowler’s quota of overs that India were struggling to manage but RP Singh proved no better than R Vinay Kumar while Dhoni’s lack of trust in Praveen Kumar during the death saw the paceman bowl only four overs.

Despite being taken for runs, the Indian skipper kept bowling Munaf who found it difficult to bowl with the wet ball. India, though, were electric on the field. Throwing themselves around the park, the young brigade backed up the bowlers’ efforts with admirable commitment but in the end it all boiled down to the contrasting starts the two teams had.

While India were 25 for four after the mandatory power play (62 balls to be precise), Kieswetter and Alastair Cook provided England a 63-run platform in 60 balls at the top that had a big influence on the final outcome.

SCORE BOARD

INDIA
Parthiv b Anderson    3
(19b)
Rahane c Trott b Anderson    0
(3b)
Dravid (run out)    2
(9b)
Kohli c Kieswetter b Anderson    7
(18b)
Raina c Kieswetter b Broad    21
(36b, 1x4, 1x6)
Dhoni c Cook b Bresnan    69
(103b, 5x4)
Jadeja c Bell b Dernbach    78
(89b, 10x4)
Ashwin (not out)    36
(19b, 5x4)
Praveen (not out)    1
(2b)
Extras (LB-7, W-10)    17
Total (for 7 wkts, 50 overs)234
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Rahane), 2-9 (Dravid), 3-13 (Parthiv), 4-25 (Kohli), 5-58 (Raina), 6-170 (Dhoni), 7-229 (Jadeja).
Bowling: Anderson 9-1-48-3 (w-2), Bresnan 10-2-32-1 (w-1), Dernbach 10-153-1 (w-5), Broad 9-1-47-1 (w-2), Swann 10-0-31-0, Bopara 2-0-16-0.
Scoring pattern: after 5 overs: 9/1; 10: 25/3; 20: 58/5; 30: 109/5; 40: 150/5; End of innings: 234/7 in 50 overs.
Runs during Power Play1: 1-10 overs: 25/3; Power Play2: 11-15 overs: 23/1; Power Play3 (batting): 44-48: 51/1.
ENGLAND (Revised target: 218 in 43 overs)
Cook lbw Munaf    23
(34b, 3x4)
Kieswetter b Jadeja    51
(46b, 3x4, 3x6)
Trott b Ashwin    11
(25b)
Bell (run out)    23
(25b, 2x4)
Stokes b Ashwin    20
(31b, 1x6)
Bopara b Ashwin    40
(41b, 4x4)
Bresnan b Jadeja    28
(38b, 1x4)
Broad (not out)    5
(6b)
Swann (not out)    9
(5b, 1x4)
Extras (B-2, LB-3, W-3)    8
Total (for 7 wkts, 41.5 overs)218
Fall of wickets: 1-63 (Cook), 2-87 (Kieswetter), 3-89 (Trott), 4-131 (Bell), 5-133 (Stokes), 6-193 (Broad), 7-208 (Bopara).
Bowling: Praveen 4-0-20-0 (w-1), RP Singh 6-0-32-0 (w-1), Munaf 8.5-0-63-1, Jadeja 9-0-42-2 (w-1), Ashwin 9-0-40-3, Raina 5-0-16-0.
Scoring pattern: after 5 overs: 24/0; 10: 63/1; 20: 95/3; 30: 146/5; 40: 201/6; End of innings: 218/7 in 41.5 overs.
Runs during Power Play1: 1-10 overs: 63/1; Power Play 2: 11-15 overs: 16/0; Power Play3 (batting): 41-41.5 overs: 17/1.

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