England beat India by three wickets at The Oval
Zeenews Sports Bureau
London: England emerged victorious by three wickets in a match of fluctuating fortunes as the Indian pacemen could not contain the scoring at the death.
Despite putting up a fight with the limited total on the board, India could not stop the home team from taking a 2-0 lead in the ODI series.
The spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin bagged five wickets amongst themselves but that was not enough to register the team’s first win.
England were given a revised target of 218 runs to chase from 43 overs after rain halted the play after the 20th over.
Before the drizzle, a golden arm-ball from Jadeja clean bowled half centurion Craig Kieswetter to get some anticipation back into the game and give the Indian fans something to cheer about.
It was immediately complemented in the next over by fellow spinner Ashwin who rattled the stumps of Jonathan Trott and his dismissal gave hopes to the bowlers with two new feet at the crease to bowl at.
India had made inroads into the English camp with Munaf Patel claiming captain Alastair Cook (23) just when the openers looked set to take away the game. However, the game would be more remembered for his lacklustre fielding and erratic temperament towards fellow players.
In the first half, Jadeja (78) came up with a gem of an innings to help India post a total of 234/7 at the end of 50 overs after the top order had surrendered meekly to the English pacemen.
A handy cameo by Ashwin (36* off 19 balls) too helped the visitors’ cause in posting a respectable if not a formidable total for the English outfit. Dhoni too provided a semblance of resistance, hitting a fifty and forging a vital partnership with Jadeja that helped keep the scorecard afloat. He was finally claimed by Tim Bresnan at a score of 69 runs while he tried to up the run-rate.
Before the partnership, woes had befriended the Indian dressing room as half of the team was back in the pavilion with just 58 runs on the board. The fifth man to get out brashly was Suresh Raina (21). He was done in trying to whack Stuart Broad out of the park after a similar attempt had proved effective in his last over, only to fall short in the end.
The blight of India’s plight, James Anderson had taken his third wicket to get rid of Virat Kohli.
Anderson had rattled the stumps of Parthiv Patel (3) to see the top order off with the scorecard reading 13/3 in 6.4 overs. India had dug deep holes for themselves at the onset of the match, with Rahul Dravid becoming the victim of a run out at a score of two runs.
Anderson was on cue in the first over itself, claiming the man in form, Ajinkya Rahane, for a duck.
The two teams now head into the fourth ODI at Lord’s with the danger of a whitewash almost materialising for India who have had a woeful outing in England.
England (Playing XI): Alastair Cook(c), Craig Kieswetter(w), Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Ben Stokes, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Jade Dernbach
India (Playing XI): Parthiv Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, RP Singh, Munaf Patel