Another dismal batting performance by India saw them being bowled out for 200 in 48.1 overs by England in a deciding clash of the ODI tri-series at the WACA in Perth on Friday. Opener Ajinkya Rahane was the standout performer, scoring 73 off 101 balls. His and Shikhar Dhawan’s opening wicket partnership of 83 runs was the only bright spot in an otherwise dreadful performance.
Pacer Mohammed Shami (25) played a vital cameo in the end, adding 35 runs for the final wicket with Mohit Sharma (7 not out), to provide some respectability to India’s total. Following the dismissal of Dhawan in the 21st over, India lost eight wickets for just 62 runs. All the English bowlers were amongst the wickets with Steven Finn taking three wickets while Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali chipping in with two each.
England had bowled out India for 153 in their previous and went on to win by nine wickets. Earlier, England captain Eoin Morgan put India into toss after winning the toss and India looked shaky from the outset. Rahane and Dhawan were slow off the blocks, playing with the lot of caution. They gained confidence after negotiating the initial overs.
Rahane was the more aggressive of the two and lived a charmed life with most of his lofted shots, in the begginning, landing in no-man’s land. Virat Kohli’s (8) wicket in the 28th over, opened the floodgates for England. Suresh Raina (1) perished just two overs later as India were reduced to 107 for three.
Ambati Rayudu (12) looked good briefly but failed to capitalise on his start. Rahane’s wicket soon after put tremendous pressure on the shoulders of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (17), who failed to cope with it and was dismissed with the score on 164.
Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja (5) and Axar Patel (1) fell in the space of a run as India was reduced to 165 for nine. A few edges and some lusty blows from the bat of Shami helped India reach the 200-mark. The winner of the match will go on to face hosts Australia in the final.
Brief Scores: India 200 all out in 48.1 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 73, Shikhar Dhawan 38; Steven Finn 3/36, Moeen Ali 2/35) vs England. (IANS)