A brilliant all-round performance by England helped them thrash India by nine wickets and in the process gain a bonus point in the third match of the One-Day International (ODI) tri-series, also involving Australia, at the Gabba, Brisbane Tuesday.
Pacers James Anderson and Steven Finn played a starring role as England bowled India out for a paltry 153 in 39.3 overs and an unbeaten 131-run partnership between Ian Bell (88*) and James Taylor (56*) saw them reach the target with 22.3 overs to spare.
Stuart Binny removed opener Moeen Ali in the third over to provide the Indians with a ray of hope but that was all quashed by a clinical innings from Bell and Taylor. The Indian bowlers looked toothless and were taken to the cleaners by the English duo, who looked in complete control throughout.
India’s chances of making it to the final now look slim after consecutive losses to hosts Australia and England. Australia are top of the pile with two wins from as many chances while England are second in the points table.
Earlier, Finn ran through the Indian top-order, ending up with figures of five for 33 from his eight overs. Anderson, who is coming back from an injury lay-off, started India’s fall by taking Shikhar Dhawan’s (1) wicket in the third over and then came back to finish off the tail to take four wickets giving away just 18 runs from his 8.3 overs.
A 56-run partnership between Ajinkya Rahane (33) and Ambati Rayudu (23) for the second wicket, and a 70-run stand between Stuart Binny (44) and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (34) were the only talking points in a dismal batting performance by the Indians.
Dhoni made the brave decision to bat after winning the toss on a quick and bouncy Gabba wicket. The decision backfired almost immediately. Dhawan’s woes Down Under continued with the left-hander edging an Anderson delivery with the score on one.
Rahane and Rayudu did the hard bit of negating the new ball and just when it looked they were starting to look comfortable, Rahane stepped out of the crease to hoick Finn, only managing to sky a catch to mid-on.
Rahane’s wicket led to a domino effect as India lost Virat Kohli (1), Suresh Raina (1) and Rayudu in the space of three runs to slump to 67 for five in 18.6 overs. Dhoni and Binny came together to provide some much-needed rearguard action for India.
But again the Indian duo couldn’t kick on after making a solid start and once Dhoni fell, another string of wickets followed him. Binny fell thanks to a brilliant catch by English captain Eoin Morgan and to sum up India’s innings Mohammed Shami fell the ball after to bring an end to the innings.
Brief Scores: India 153 all out in 39.3 overs (Stuart Binny 44, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 34; Steven Finn 5/33, James Anderson 4/18) lost to England 156 for one in 27.2 overs (Ian Bell 88 not out, James Taylor 56 not out; Stuart Binny 1/34). (IANS)