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Rediff.com  » Cricket » England edge past India at The Oval, take 2-0 lead

England edge past India at The Oval, take 2-0 lead

September 10, 2011 02:09 IST

Scorecard:

England beat India by three wickets (D/L method) in the third ODI at The Oval on Friday to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series.

Chasing a revised target of 218, England reached home with seven balls to spare.

Craig Kieswtter (51) and Alastair Cook (23) put on 63 runs (off 60 balls) for the opening wicket to give the home team a solid start.

There was a brief mid-innings slump as the Indian spinners, R Ashwin (3 for 40) and Ravindra Jadeja (2 for 42) brought India right back.

Rain stopped play as England reached 95 for three chasing a target of 235. With 20 overs being bowled, England were ahead by five runs at the moment on Duckworth-Lewis method.

With the target revised, Ian Bell (23) and Ben Stokes (20) put on 42 for the fourth wicket before Ravi Bopara (40) and Tim Bresnan (28) put on 60 runs in an invaluable sixth wicket stand to seal India's fate. Graeme Swann (nine not out) completed the formality in the innings' penultimate over bowled by Munaf.

Ravindra JadejaJadeja was named the man-of-the-match for his all-round effort.

Earlier, India made a commendable recovery from a disastrous start to reach  a respectable 234 for seven against England.

The visitors, once again put in to bat, were reeling at 25 for four and later 58 for five by the 19th over before skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (69) and Ravindra Jadeja (78) combined superbly for a 112-run sixth wicket stand that was instrumental in taking the score to 234.

No less exhilarating was the seventh wicket stand between Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin (36 not out) which fetched 59 runs off only 31 balls. It was a massive recovery after James Anderson had punched holes in India's top-order, claiming three for 24 in his first spell of seven overs and also having a hand in running out Rahul Dravid (2). 

Dhoni, possibly playing his best innings this summer, scoring his runs off 103  balls with five fours and was a picture of solidity and intent as he pushed back England bowling on a green top. Even more creditable was Jadeja, flown in as a late replacement and playing his first one-day international in 10 months, as he showed fine technique and awareness about how to score runs. The spunky cricketer made 78 off 89  balls with 10 fours. 

The right-left hand combination also worked to their advantage and they largely looked to score their runs in ones and twos as only seven fours had been hit between them when they raised the century stand for the sixth wicket. Indeed, in a 10-over period between overs 32nd and 41st, not a single boundary was hit and only 37 runs were added by the pair.

However, their half centuries came in good enough time.  Dhoni reached the landmark off 69 balls with five fours and Jadeja reached his landmark off 73 balls with six fours. Indians opted for the batting Powerplay in the 44th over with the score being 167 for 5. 

As it usually happens, the attacking field of Powerplays, immediately yielded results for the home team as Dhoni's aggressive heave could go only as far as mid-off. The 112-run partnership came off 156 balls. Young Ravichandran Ashwin kept the tempo flicking Jade Dernbach to fine leg and then playing a scoop over keeper's head for another four. 

Jadeja too helped himself to a couple of boundaries from the same over, flicking a slower delivery to fine leg and then driving the last delivery past extra-cover fence to make it four fours from the over. 

In all 19 runs came off this Dernbach over, the 46th of the innings. Anderson bowled the last over of the batting powerplay—the 48th—and conceded 16 from the over. 

The first two deliveries were slammed by Jadeja in the mid-off region and Ashwin hit one off his own as 51 runs were scored the by the visitors in the five overs of batting Powerplay for the loss of Dhoni's wicket. 

At the end of the batting powerplay, India were 218 for 6, with Jadeja on 75 and Ashwin on 26. The 50-run stand between the two was soon to come off only 26 balls. Jadeja was to depart in the final over, holing out to long-on, and was given a handsome appreciation by packed stand. Ashwin remained not out on 36 off 19 balls with five fours as India rattled up 84 runs from the final 10 overs. 

The day couldn't have been begun bad enough for the Indians who lost exciting young talent Ajinkya Rahane (0) in the very first over of the innings. Anderson relishing bowling on a lively green wicket, made his fourth ball swung away late as Rahane could do no better than edge it to first slip. 

The next five overs produced almost no runs before Parthiv Patel (3) pushed to mid-off and called Dravid for a sharp single. An alert Anderson quickly swooped down on the ball and threw down the striker's end to catch Dravid short of his crease. 

It was Patel's turn to depart next when he tried to push Anderson against the swing and had his off-stump pegged back. India's lot didn't get better as Virat Kohli (7) appeared all at sea before poking his bat at an Anderson delivery and offering a catch to wicketkeeper. 

Raina, after his heroics in previous one-dayers, was once again on a pitch with life and juice and thus understandably played and missed a lot. The left-hander though was to get India's first four in the 10th over when he gloved a rising Tim Bresnan delivery past the keeper on the on-side. 

Raina also managed a six, a massive hit on the on-side off Anderson, but departed for 21 after a similar attempt to hoick, this time Stuart Broad, resulted in an edge to wicketkeeper. 

India were 58 for 5 now at the end of the 19th over and the writing was on wall before Dhoni and Jadeja scripted a recovery act.