Report: India vs England – 3rd ODI
MS Dhoni gave his city a perfect international debut. He won the toss, put England in, India restricted the visitors to 155 and Ranchi’s favourite son played a ferocious pull shot for four runs to take India to across the finish line. Thanks to this thumping seven-wicket win, India took a 2-1 lead in the five-ODI series.
The win, however, was set up by the bowlers’ disciplined performance. And later, a trademark – solid yet aggressive, sensible yet authoritative – knock from Virat Kohli (77 off 79 balls) ensured India got home with 131 balls to spare.
India’s chase began with a déjà vu for Ajinkya Rahane – a fast, full and straight delivery from Steven Finn, a hesitant stride forward by the right-hander, a huge gap between bat and pad and the sound of timber. Rahane was out for a duck and India lost their first wicket at 11.
Gautam Gambhir tried to hit out of his lean patch with a wild swing to a wide, short ball. Fortunately, he missed it and bought himself some more time at the wicket. The resistance, however, ended when a heave over mid-on resulted in him holing out and India losing their second wicket. Gambhir scored 33 off 53 balls.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli began his innings by smashing Jade Dernbach for three consecutive fours. When on 49, Virat reached 4,000 ODI runs and he celebrated the feat with a half-century in 58 balls. Virat had a perfect partner in Yuvraj Singh. The left-hander scored a quick fire 30 off 21 balls (6x4), before James Tredwell bowled him out.
With 12 runs to win, MS Dhoni walked in to bat to a rousing welcome from his home crowd. The Indian captain started out with a thumping straight drive that ran to the fence despite hitting the stumps at the non-striker’s end and finished with a pull shot to take India home.
Earlier, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed made the England openers work hard for their runs against the new ball. After persistent tight bowling for eight overs, India got their first breakthrough in form of Alastair Cook (17). Cramped for runs, Cook was lured into an across-the-line shot off Ahmed only to be caught plumb in front of the wicket.
Ian Bell (25) and Kevin Pietersen (17) put on 44 runs for the second wicket. While Bell looked a bit uncomfortable, with a strike-rate of 58, Pietersen was quite fluent. The calm in the England innings was short-lived as India dismissed both set batsmen in successive overs.
After going for 10 runs in his first over, Ishant Sharma got a respite in his next, as he deceived the dangerous looking Pietersen with a short ball. Then, Bhuvneshwar came back in the 16th over to put Bell out of his misery with an incoming delivery. Bell played the cut and MS Dhoni took his second successive catch. Like he did in the second ODI in Kochi, Dhoni had Bhuvneshwar bowl his 10 overs on the trot. He finished with 1/40.
Joe Root and Eoin Morgan tried to forge a partnership, but the innings was jolted significantly with the Indian spinners’ triple strike in two overs. Morgan tried to reverse sweep a leg-side ball from R Ashwin only to present a simple catch to Yuvraj Singh at backward point. New batsman, Craig Kieswetter, was clean bowled by Jadeja. The last ball of the same over, another arm ball, saw the back of Samit Patel. England were reduced to 98/6 half way through their innings.
Root looked solid for most part of his 57-ball stay at the wicket, but began to lose patience. He eventually gave in to indiscretion at 39; when poking at a wide delivery from Ishant, he gave Dhoni his third catch of the match.
The very next over, 38th of the innings, Ashwin produced a classical off-spinning delivery to get rid of Bresnan. India bowlers once again struck in pair, leaving England reeling at 145/8 after 38 overs. Ashwin’s (2/37) quota finished in the 40th over and Dhoni brought Suresh Raina into the attack. The part-time left-arm spinner responded with Steven Finn’s wicket
Jadeja finished England’s innings by bowling Jade Dernbach out with a straighter one. His bowling figures read 6.2-0-19-3. England were bundled out for 155 in 42.2 overs.
Brief Scores: India 157/3 (Virat Kohli 77; James Tredwell 2/29) beat England 155 all-out (Joe Root 39; Ravindra Jadeja 3/19) by 7 wickets with 131 balls to spare.
Man of the Match: Virat Kohli for his match-winning knock of 77 runs off 79 balls with nine 4s and two 6s.