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Thursday, November 20, 2008

India vs England 3rd ODI: India Won by 16 Runs on D/L Method

India picked up third straight victory over the visiting England today in Kanpur in the third of the seven-match ODI series. Winning the toss England Captain Kevin Pietersen elected to bat first and English openers gave enough justification to their captain’s decision by putting on 79 runs for the first wickets. However, middle order batsmen of England failed to carry on the momentum set by the openers. With Harbhajan Singh started bowling at his best, England batsmen started struggling. From 79 for 0, England turned into 133 for 4 within 15 overs. Opener Ravi Bopara scored innings highest 60 runs, while his opening partner Ian Bell played an innings of 47-ball 46.

However, I do not know why Mahendra Singh Dhoni gave Yuvraj Singh 10 overs in a straight-spell while he was conceding many runs and spinners like Yusuf Pathan and Virender Sehwag were not used till then. It is true that Yuvraj Singh picked up the important wicket of Ravi Bopara but, I think, Harbhajan Singh played a huge role behind that wicket, conceding very few runs and picking up wickets in one end and keeping the pressure on the English batsmen. Later on, Yusuf Pathan, who picked up the big wicket of Andrew Flintoff, proved that he could have fared better than Yuvraj Singh when Harbhajan Singh was not letting the pressure off the English batsmen.

Anyway, all's well that ends well. India could comfortably restrict England innings at 240, picking up all the wickets. Owais Shah’s 40, Flintoff’s 26 and Samit Patel’s 26 guided England to make a descent total. Harbhajan Singh picked up 3 wickets for 31 and reached 200-wicket mark in ODI. Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma got 2 wickets each, while Zaheer Khan and Yusuf Pathan got 1 wicket each.

Chasing 241, India did not have as good a start they had in their first two matches. Gautam Gambhir’s dismissal on 14 left India on 31 for 1 in the seventh over. India seemed to have fallen in big trouble when Suresh Raina also went back to pavilion, scoring only 1 runs to his credit. However, opener Virender Sehwag continued his aggressive batting in his way to score the innings highest 68 runs. Along with Rohit Sharma, Sehwag added 73 runs for the third wicket partnership. Both Rohit Sharma and Virender Sehwag got out in quick succession for 28 and 68 runs respectively. Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni took the helm of Indian innings at that point and added 52 runs for the fifth wicket, but Yuvraj Singh failed to bring out another blistering knock being got out on 38. However, Dhoni along with Yusuf Pathan was guiding India towards a target before bad light stopped the game when India was 198 for 5 after 40 overs. Match officials declared India winner of the match according to Duckworth and Lewis method. Harbhajan Singh was awarded man of the match for his excellent bowling.

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