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England score easy win over India
Harish Kotian | August 27, 2007 19:14 IST
Last Updated: August 27, 2007 23:06 IST
India were comprehensively outplayed by England [Images] in all departments of the game and lost the third one-day international by 42 runs, at Edgbaston in Birmingham, on Monday.
Electing to bowl first, India disappointed with the ball as England put up a healthy 281 for 8 in their 50 overs, courtesy Ian Bell's [Images] sparkling knock of 79 in 89 deliveries, inclusive two boundaries and as many sixes.
In reply, India were rarely in the run chase and bowled out for 239 in 48.1 overs.
Sourav Ganguly [Images] (72) and Rahul Dravid [Images] (56) scored half-centuries, adding 104 runs for the third wicket, but their dismissals in quick succession put paid to India's hopes of chasing down the runs.
England thus took a deserved 2-1 lead in the seven-match series.
India captain Rahul Dravid won the toss for the third consecutive match in the series and this time elected to field, believing that there could be something for the bowlers early on.
Meanwhile, England were forced to make two changes because of injury. Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar [Images] replaced the injured Andrew Flintoff [Images], while Owais Shah came in for all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas.
Openers Matt Prior [Images] and Alastair Cook [Images] built a solid platform for their team after some cautious batting at the start. A lackluster fielding display by the Indians also helped their cause.
Cook was dropped on 15 by R P Singh on the fine leg boundary off Zaheer Khan, but that did not deter the batsman, who continued playing his shots.
Munaf Patel [Images] was introduced in the 10th over and immediately the English batsmen went after him. The bowler also struggled to extract bounce, like he did in the second ODI, and was taken apart by the batsmen in his first two overs in which he gave away 20 runs, including three boundaries.
The Indian fast bowlers were under the hammer as the England openers played some attractive shots. But against the run of play Munaf struck with the key wicket of Prior for 34. The England wicketkeeper tried to pull him off a good length delivery but got a top edge, which was neatly held by Piyush Chawla on the off-side.
The two openers had given England a fine start, adding 76 runs for the opening wicket, but India made a breakthrough just at the right time.
Off-spinner Ramesh Powar was introduced in the 17th over, in the third Powerplay, but despite the fielding restrictions he gave the ball plenty of flight. And his persistence paid instant dividends when he struck in his second over, getting the wicket of Cook for 40.
The left-hander went for the sweep shot to a flighted delivery from Powar but could only get the top edge, which was taken by Yuvraj Singh [Images] at short fine-leg.
The wicket prompted captain Rahul Dravid to introduce spin from the other end in the form of Chawla. The young leg-spinner had a thrilling duel with the dangerous Kevin Pietersen [Images] as soon as he stepped on to the bowling crease.
He troubled Pietersen for the first few deliveries, mostly with the googly, but then Pietersen read one correctly and slammed it to the midwicket boundary.
But it was Chawla who had the last laugh. He got the wicket of Pietersen in his third over. Once again it was the googly that did the trick. Pietersen charged down the wicket but was beaten by the delivery spinning into him as Dhoni completed an easy stumping to send him back for 9.
In two matches Chawla had scalped Pietersen and the youngster's celebrations showed how much the wicket meant to him.
Paul Collingwood [Images] started off positively and slammed Chawla for a huge six over midwicket quite early in his innings. But he was lucky to survive a close leg before wicket shout against Yuvraj Singh in the 32nd over. He tried a sweep shot, but was struck in front of the stumps and English umpire Mark Benson ruled him not out.
Bell continued making the most of his good form, scoring yet another half-century off 64 deliveries in the 38th over.
England captain Collingwood tried to distract Powar by trying to hit the reverse sweep off every delivery he faced from the off-spinner. But it was the very shot that caused his downfall.
In the 39th over, Collingwood hit the reverse sweep straight to substitute fielder Robin Uthappa at point. He made 44 from 53 deliveries, adding 75 runs for the fourth wicket with Bell as England made steady progress in the middle overs.
Yuvraj came up with a very important spell in the middle overs as India managed to check the flow of runs. His control was immaculate; Dravid even employed him in the last 10 overs and he repaid his captain's trust when he got the wicket of Owais Shah.
Shah made 19, including a huge six over midwicket off Yuvraj, but then was bowled by a quicker delivery as England were reduced to 226 for 5 in the 44th over.
Ravi Bopara walked across his stumps and looked to play R P Singh on the leg-side but the delivery straightened a bit. The resultant leading edge went straight to Dravid in the cover region. Bopara was dismissed for 10.
In his next over, Singh struck with the important wicket of Bell for 79. The right-hander tried to loft over the off-side but hit it straight to Dinesh Karthik in the covers as England were reduced to 255 for 7 in the 48th over. It ended a solid innings by the right-hander as he provided stability in the middle overs, hitting two boundaries and two sixes in his 89-ball knock.
This was his second half-century in as many matches in addition to the century he scored in the first one-dayer.
Stuart Broad (10) lost his wicket in the final over of the innings to R P Singh, but Chris Tremlett hit a few lusty blows towards the end to finish unbeaten on 19 from 9 deliveries.
The late flourish by the tail helped England post a healthy 281 for 8 in their 50 overs.
In the end, India will feel aggrieved that they conceded 20-25 runs more. The spin duo of Powar (2 for 45) and Chawla (1 for 50) did well in the middle overs, but England did well against the other bowlers. Even Yuvraj, who took 1 for 39, made a vital contribution with the ball.
R P Singh was the most successful bowler, claiming 3 for 55, but went for a few runs. Munaf had an ordinary outing, giving gave 37 runs in his five overs, while taking the wicket of Prior.
India have two of their most experienced batsmen in Sachin Tendulkar [Images] and Sourav Ganguly at the top of the order and will be hoping at least one of them can bat through. The pitch is still good for batting, all it needs is some sensible batting, especially in the middle overs.
Chasing such a huge target, India's start was not particularly the best, as the England pacers bowled two maiden overs.
Sourav Ganguly broke the shackles with four boundaries off James Anderson in the fourth over of the innings and followed it with another boundary off Stuart Broad in the next over.
The flow of runs seemed to have pepped the left-hander; suddenly the balls were flying off his bat and England started to worry a bit so early in the contest.
Except for one bad over from Anderson which produced 16, the pacers had done well in the initial overs, with just 11 runs coming off the remaining six overs.
Sachin Tendulkar took some time to warm-up before he unleashed a smashing pull shot against Anderson to register his first boundary in the 10th over. But he fell two balls later for eight when he hit it straight to Collingwood while trying to chip it over the off-side.
Dinesh Karthik, promoted to number three, fell for a duck when he offered Cook a simple catch in the covers trying to hit it through the off-side as India slipped to 36 for 2 in the 11th over.
India played out a couple of quiet overs before Rahul Dravid got them going again with a few boundaries. He smashed Broad for three excellent boundaries off both feet through the off-side as India progressed to 62 for 2 in 15 overs.
In fact, the Indian captain hit five boundaries in the space of nine balls to take off the pressure after those two quick wickets.
Ganguly also joined him in the run-scoring spree as he slammed Tremlett for two consecutive boundaries in the 16th over.
However, Dravid was the positive of the two batsmen, carrying off from where he left off in Bristol, where he smashed a blazing 92 off just 64 deliveries.
Dravid reached the same score (48) as Ganguly off just 49 deliveries, while the left-hander had taken 79 deliveries for the same. Collingwood bowled three quiet overs before Dravid hit him for a huge six and a boundary to keep the required run rate in check as India reached 114 for 2 after 25 overs.
The Indian captain completed his half-century, his 81st in ODIs, off 51 deliveries, with seven boundaries and a six in the 26th over.
Ganguly also reached the landmark two balls later with two runs off Monty Panesar as India reached 118 for 2 after 26 overs. However, Ganguly's half-century had taken 82 deliveries, inclusive of seven boundaries, but the important thing was that he was holding one end up.
In the 28th over, he stepped down the wicket to Panesar and launched a huge straight six.
Ganguly, when his score reached 61, completed the milestone of 11,000 runs in one-day internationals and is the fourth player to do so.
The Ganguly-Dravid partnership was assuming some proportions before the latter lost his wicket courtesy an inside edge to pacer Tremlett.
The Indian captain tried to play the ball on the leg side but inside edged it onto his pads and then to his stumps. He was out for a quick knock of 56, inclusive of seven boundaries and a six.
Tremlett was struggling to contain the runs, but here he had struck with the key wicket of Dravid, who looked in top form at the moment.
Two overs later, Tremlett's joy doubled when he got the wicket of Ganguly for 72. The left-hander was looking to take India all the way, but was halted in his stride as he was caught behind by wicketkeeper Prior as India were reduced to 149 for 4 after 32 overs.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni [Images] could not last long either, as he was caught in the off-side off Anderson for 13. That wicket exposed the tail and with 92 runs needed from under 12 overs, it remained to be seen whether Yuvraj Singh could shepherd the tail and take India to an unlikely victory.
But wickets kept falling from the other end as the tailenders failed to provide Yuvraj the support.
Ramesh Powar attempted a wild pull shot and was caught by Bell at short midwicket off Collingwood for 5 in the 43rd over.
Piyush Chawla (1) fell in the same over when he also hit it straight to Bell at short cover as India were slowly but steadily inching towards a defeat.
With 69 runs needed from the last seven overs and just three wickets in hand, it was unlikely that even Yuvraj with all his talent could take India to victory from such a precarious position.
Yuvraj's brave knock of 45 came to a tame end when he was run out in the 44th over after a huge misunderstanding with Zaheer Khan. The left-hander hit four boundaries and a six in his 39-ball knock, but with wickets falling from the other end the task kept getting difficult throughout.
Panesar had his first wicket of the match when he knocked down Zaheer's stumps as the batsman tried a huge heave across the line in the 48th over. Munaf also didn't provide much resistance when he had no answers to a perfect yorker from Anderson.
India were bowled out for 239 in 48.1 overs to lose the match by 42 runs.
England thus took a deserved 2-1 lead in the seven-match series even though they missed key players like Andrew Flintoff and Dimitri Mascarenhas in this match.
India were once again disappointing in the field and in running between the wickets. Even the pace bowlers let their team down, especially in the final overs, and that is where India needs to tighten up.
England managed to score 80 in their last 10 overs even though they lost four wickets and that is something that India needs to work on.
It is now do-or-die for India in the fourth ODI at Old Trafford as a 3-1 deficit would be difficult to come back from.