Bad light fails to halt Indian juggernaut at Kanpur

Published: Thursday, November 20, 2008, 17:47 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Kanpur: Riding on a 76-ball 68 by Virender Sehwag, India overpowered England by 16 runs under Duckworth-Lewis system to take a 3-0 lead in the seven-match ODI series here today.

Set to chase a target of 241, India was 198 for five with Mahendra Singh Dhoni (29) and Yusuf Pathan (12) still at the crease when the umpires offered them light and the two accepted it.

Under some testing conditions and low visibility, Indian batsmen showed great resistance to defy the visitors and made sure that they always keep themselves well ahead of the required score under Duckworth-Lewis system.

However, it was Virender Sehwag's 31st half-century and Harbhajan Singh's three-wicket haul that did not allow England to take an upper hand in the 49-over a side contest.


Sehwag did not let Gautam Gambhir (14) and Suresh Raina's (1) wickets to affect his batting and the opener began to unleash his strokes.

Gambhir slashed at a wide delivery from Andrew Flintoff and was caught at third man boundary, while Raina played a delivery from Stuart Broad on to his stumps to leave India at 34 for two.

With Rohit Sharma (28), Sehwag added 73 runs for the third-wicket stand and the two batsmen mixed caution with aggression to punish anything that was meant to be.

Sehwag was given a lease of life by left-arm spinner Samit Patel who dropped the batsmen off his own bowling.

The Indian opener made the other spinner Graeme Swann to pay for Patels' mistake and clobbered the bowler to mid-wicket boundary for a six to raise his 31st half century of 61 balls.

Sharma was also looking good until he cut Swann and got an outside edge which went straight to keeper Matt Prior.

Soon after Sharma's departure, Sehwag too followed him when he threw his bat to a wide delivery off Flintoff and Paul Collingwood took a blinder at point. Sehwag had eight boundaries and a six in his 76-ball stay at the wicket.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni then joined in-form Yuvraj (38) and the two saw some nerve wracking moments as the English bowlers particularly Flintoff tested the Indian batsmen with some quality stuff.

While Yuvraj, whose 38 came off 31 balls with two fours and a six, never looked in trouble and dominated the bowling as he has been throughout the tournament, Dhoni was failed to rotate strikes.

India took the third power play in the 35th over and Yuvraj made the most of it and garnered 12 runs off the first over bowled by Swann.

Flintoff was trying to excite the Indian batsmen with some verbal exchanges and got his man when Yuvraj pulled a short delivery from him which went straight to Broad.

However, Pathan played in his usual characteristic manner and did not let Flintoff make any further inroads as the all-rounder finished his with impressive figures of 31 for three in his nine overs.

With the visibility getting darker, India always made sure that they keep themselves well ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis system.

After a delayed start, England opted to bat first in the 49 overs a side match and their openers Ravi Bopara and Ian Bell (46) saw through the initial overs from Zaheer Khan and Munaf Patel, where the two batsmen fetched just 16 off the first seven overs. But two consecutive fours off Munaf from Ian Bell broke the shackles and England batsmen looked in complete command as they raised the team's 50 in the 11 over.

Bopara (60), who was promoted up the order, was more keen to give strike to Bell who was more aggressive in his approach.

Munaf came back strongly in his second spell and produced an edge from Bell which was well caught by wicket keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to break a 79-run stand for the opening wicket.

Bell was looking good until he was out on 46 off 47 balls which had eight boundries in it. Captain Kevin Pietersen (13) joined Bopara and got into the action immediately with a huge six off Yuvraj Singh which was followed by a single to see the visitors reach the 100-run mark in the 19th over.

It was one shot too many for Pietersen as he tried to treat Harbhajan the same way he did to Yuvraj only to get decieved by the off-spinner's doosra and spooned a catch to Zaheer Khan at long-off.

Harbhajan bowled another doosra in his very next over to see the back of out-of-form Paul Collingwood, who made just one with the team score reading 106 for three.

The batsman stretched forward only to see Dhoni dislodge the bails in a flash with Collingwood well outside the crease.

The visitors had lost the initiative after a good start provided by their openers as India clawed back into the match with its spinners.

Bopara, who had batted at number eight in the first two matches, justified his team's decision to open with him and made a useful half century.

At his individual score on 60, Yuvraj beat Bopara, drawing him forward to get the batsman stumped by Dhoni. Bopara had eight boundries in his 82-ball innings.

Andrew Flintoff (26) then stitched a partnership of 34 runs with Owais Shah but the all-rounder was trapped leg before off Yusuf Pathan.

Harbhajan then scalped Shah (40) to take his ODI wickets' tally to 200 as the batsman, while going for six, fell short of the boundary and Zaheer completed an easy catch.

The off-spinner returned with impressive bowling figures of 31 for three from his 10 overs and played a crucial role in restricting the visitors to a modest total.

After that it was a matter of time as England lost its last four wickets for the addition of just 37 runs and the visitors folded up for a modest 240.

Write Comments