Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ind Eng ODI 3: England Win by 3 Wickets by D/L Method; Cannot Lose Series

Despite the heroics of Ravindra Jadeja and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India continued to search for that elusive on their tour of England as the hosts won the third India England ODI by three wickets by the Duckworth Lewis method to go 2-0 up in the series.

Having set 235 as target for England, India needed to field well and bowl tight in order to ensure that England felt stifled. India’s bowling has not been their forte, particularly on this tour. And when an aggressive batsman gets in a belligerent mood, there is little firepower to stop it.

Craig Kieswetter once again set the agenda clear with a half century that gave England the early boost and initiative that survived a rain interruption and a flurry of wickets. In many ways, England would be grateful in hindsight for the innings played by Kieswetter because where India needed to apply the pleasure, Kieswetter ate away at the runs to the extent that India were always struggling to peg England back for want of more runs even though they managed to pick wickets later in the match. Twenty more runs even and things could have been different.

Just when it appeared that Kieswetter would make it a one sided affair, the rain came down with England only narrowing edging out on the Duckworth Lewis method although Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin picked up a couple of important wickets before the rain came down. Had the match continued in that vein, it would have been very interesting indeed. However, that was not the case, as for a third match in a row, rain continued to have its say – washing out the first match, reducing the second match to a Twenty20 affair and today once again reducing the quota of overs in the fifty over format, causing both teams to adapt to the changes.

When play did resume, the match was reduced to forty-three overs, it was a case of the England cricketers chipping in together and they did it in cameos and as India kept picking wickets, the runs required came down to the extent where India were left to wonder what would have happened had they did not lose the wickets they did early into their own innings earlier in the day. It was ultimately the partnership between Jadeja and the Indian captain that showed that the Indian cricket team held potential. In the end, Dhoni pulled off a spectacular run off Ian Bell and Jadeja got the man of the match only showed that the youngsters can turn it around if they apply themselves. Unfortunately by the time the duo stitched the partnership together, they did not have the benefit of a good foundation to fall back on which is what hurt India the most.

Ravi Bopara was the thread that held the innings together post the rain break, scoring forty runs in timely fashion to ensure England were the first team across the finish line again, which now means that England have two in two with the first match rained out and therefore, cannot lose the series from here on even if India can change their fortunes in the final two matches.


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