England set India a target of 241 for victory

Published: Thursday, November 20, 2008, 13:41 [IST]
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Kanpur, Nov 20: A strong bowling performance led by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh helped India to dismiss England for 240 in the third ODI at the Green Park stadium here today.

For India, it was Harbhajan who led the charge with a three-wicket haul and also completed his 200 wickets in the ODIs as he decieved the batsmen with his variety

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.

Ishant Sharma, who was included in place of RP Singh in this match, looked scratchy and gave away 29 runs in his first spell of four overs. He looked short of match practice and bowled two consecutive no balls to Bell.

The speedster was guilty of conceding as many as seven extras in his nine overs in which he also picked up two wickets.

However, 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. But once again he gave evidence of his inability to go for a big score after doing all the hard work.

Captain Kevin Pietersen (13) joined Bopara and got into the action immediately. A huge six from the captain off Yuvraj Singh which was followed by a single saw 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.

Yuvraj finished his quota of 10 overs for 54 runs with one wicket to his name.

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 Owais 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.


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