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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cricket: And India Clinch The ODI Series Against England 3-1!




England’s record of ODI defeats in India got no better whey they lost the 18th one in the last 20 one day internationals played in India in Mohali today. India defeated England by 5 wickets with more than 2 overs to spare in the fourth one day international--a match that was far from being one sided like the last two. England started a bit too cautiously perhaps and seemed to be headed for another lackluster batting display when Root (57 not out off 45 balls) in combination charge with Kevin Pietersen (76) and Buttler (14 off 9) plundered nearly 100 runs from the last 10 overs giving the innings (257 for 7 off 50 overs) some respectability. Captain Cook tried his best putting up 76, but he had consumed far too many balls for that. The Indian chase too was not without hiccups and it could have gone either way more than halfway through. It was basically thanks to the Player of the Match Suresh Raina (89 not out off 79 balls) who was overdue to fire for India that India made it look easy in the end.

Indian skipper Dhoni won the toss again and again took advantage of the wintry and foggy morning conditions in Mohali to seam England in. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (2 for 30 in 10 overs) fresh from his last encounters fired all cylinders bowling non-stop again and making run getting most difficult for England. Ishant Sharma too looked dangerous and only Shami Ahmed proved to be expensive. Later in the innings Ravindra Jadeja proved his newfound all-round ability by capturing 3 wickets for 39 runs in 10 overs. Despite good knocks by Cook and Pietersen England could not post a total in excess of 280 which could have proved to be toughly competitive.

Non-performing Indian opener Ajinkya Rahane was replaced by another non-performing ‘star’ Rohit Sharma who was not known as an opener either. Fortunately for Rohit the fog cleared by then and he could finally justify his selection with 83 good runs. Gambhir and Yuvraj fell early, and Kohli too could not repeat his coming-into-form performance of the Ranchi match. Suresh Raina batted through with cameo support from skipper Dhoni (19 off 21) and Jadeja (21 not out off 27) to take India to an invincible 3-1 lead over England. Except for pacer Finn (1 for 39 in 10 overs) who was unlucky not to get more wickets and spinner Tredwell (2 for 54 in 10 overs) other England bowlers could not bowl their team to a series saving victory.

Again, poor umpiring affected both teams almost equally. The fielding lapses too were evenly shared by the teams. It is again a thumbs-up for Dhoni in limited over cricket where he is still the best. The Scorecard:

The last match of the five-match India-England ODI cricket Series to be played on January 27 in Dharamsala is set to be remembered only for providing the coolest cricket environment, but unfortunately temperature there is reportedly improving fast.
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