Vineet Ramakrishnan/Zeenews Sports Bureau
Old Trafford: Ironically Ravi Bopara and Samit Patel took England to victory with three balls to spare chasing a target of 166 against India in the one off international Twenty20 fixture at Old Trafford.
Eoin Morgan top scored for England with 49 runs as he guided England to a winning position. For India Munaf Patel picked up 2 wickets and produced the best over of the day in the penultimate over of the England innings conceding only three runs to set the match up for the final over.
Kevin Pietersen also contributed up the order with a well made 33 before being stumped off Kohli.
India would be rueing over the little collapse they had in the middle overs failing to seize the platform set by Ajinkya Rahane (61) and Rahul Dravid (31) early on.
England on the other hand started off slowly and even though the debutant Alex Hale was scalped by Praveen Kumar in the first over itself, the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara stayed in the middle enough to put England over the bar rather comfortably.
During the middle overs Morgan guided the chase in exemplary fashion with some clever shot selections. This is probably what the Indian middle order of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma failed to do in the Indian innings.
Morgan along with Bopara showed controlled aggression and waited for the loose deliveries to pounce upon .Morgan was particularly severe on Ashwin milking his one over for 17 runs.
Bopara (31) though struggled a bit in the middle went about his dogged approach and did not lose his cool and stayed on in the middle to see his team over the line along with Samit Patel (21) who hit the winning runs.
The Indian bowling attack was very decent but had some troubles in the field as well. Two tough chances of Pietersen and Bopara went begging at crucial junctures of the match.
Munaf Patel bowled a near perfect penultimate over conceding just three runs but in the final over which included a controversial wide given by Umpire Rob Bailey, Vinay Kumar was not able to apply himself as well as he would have liked. Samit Patel got the needed 10 runs of three deliveries.
Virat Kohli bowling his seem up also did a commendable job and removed the dangerous Kevin Pietersen. Praveen Kumar also bowled well early on and kept a check on the run flow. But Ravichandran Ashwin had a dismal outing and Vinay Kumar’s effort looked rather mediocre.
At one stage Pietersen (33) and Kieswetter (18) where threatening to take the game away from India early on.
The batting graph of both the team was very much similar up to the 10-over mark, where India lost the plot and collapsed to 117 for 5 in 4 overs from a healthy position of 101 for 1.
Even after Raina (33) provided the much needed boost late in the innings, the tail was not able to hold up and Jade Dernbach wiped them out in no time.
Dernbach was adjudged the man of the match for his clever bowling mixing his variations well to finish with 3.4-0-22-4.
This was the swan song of Rahul Dravid in Twenty20 and his debut as well and he proved his prowess with a quick fire 31 of 21 as India set England a target of 166.
Ajinkya Rahane on debut impressed with a blistering 61 top of the order and Suresh Raina tried to push on late in the innings with a 19 ball 33.
For England Jade Dernbach produced a clever spell of Twenty20 bowling mixing his variations well to pick up four wickets. Stuart Broad also picked up two.
After one whole month of tormenting Test match cricket, India donned the blues as Ajinkya Rahane and Parthiv Patel went hammered and tongs at the England bowlers right from the on-set.
Rahane was not intimidated by the grand stage as the debutant was particularly impressive taking the attack to the bowlers.
His innings of 61 was mix of the classic wristy strokes and full blooded heaves over the in-field. Both the batsmen provided a good start and when Parthiv Patel was holed out at long on, another debutant in the form of Rahul Dravid walked in. Dravid did seem out of sort as he put in a valiant effort to force some issue in the middle.
Dravid though proved his prowess with three massive sixes of Samit Patel before walking back to the pavilion.
Dravid’s wicket proved to be the game changer as England fought back well. After ten overs India were handsomely placed at 101 for 1 for a big total but failed to seize the oppurtunity.
But the latter half of the Indian innings belonged to England. India could only muster 64 runs in the last ten overs losing eight wickets.
The likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma failed stay on in the middle as the England bowlers led by Broad kept a check on the scoring rate.
Suresh Raina then came in to push the Indian total past 150 and he played a crucial innings of 33 in 19. He hammered Tim Brenan for two consecutive sixes.
But when it was time to unleash some fury, Jade Dernbach picked up Captain Dhoni off a superbly disguised slower one England came back into the game. Dernbach then wiped out the tale in no time to restrict India to 165 in 19.4 overs.