Birmingham, June 23: After all the waiting due to rain, then came a thriller at Edgbaston on Sunday. India held their nerve to edge England by 5 runs to win the Champions Trophy 2013. It was a superb show by Indian spinners to defend 130, which looked not enough at the innings break in the rain-shortened 20-over match.
Ravi Bopara (30) and Eoin Morgan (33) were going smoothly towards the target when Ishant Sharma dismissed both in successive balls in the 18th over. Ishant, who had till then had a poor day, suddenly had turned the match. Bopara and Morgan's 64-run association had put England on the brink of their first 50-over global title but the duo's departure set them back. From there they self-destruct.
From 110/4, England slumped to 113/8 and just panicked in what should have been an easy chase. With 18 needed off 12 balls with both powerplay overs, Ravindra Jadeja bowled Jos Buttler for a golden duck and Tim Bresnan ran himself out.
The hosts required 15 off the final six balls bowled by R Ashwin. England failed in the final over and ended with 124/8 in chase of 130. England needed 6 to win off the final ball but James Tredwell missed the ball and that triggered off celebrations from players and plenty of Indian fans at the ground. Match ended at 1.02 AM IST.
With this victory, MS Dhoni became the first captain in the history to win all three ICC tournaments. He led India to World T20 (2007), World Cup (2011) and today Champions Trophy.
Ishant, after three overs of 0/27, was given the fourth and final over and he went from villain to hero in the space of two balls. Before taking those two wickets in his final over, he had bowled successive wides.
Earlier, England lost their captain Alastair Cook for 2 in the second over to Umesh Yadav. It was an excellent catch by R Ashwin at first slip. England were 3/1 in 1.5 overs.
Brilliant stumping by MS Dhoni off R Ashwin sent back Jonathan Trott who looked good for his 17-ball 20.
The hosts were in a spot of bother at 40/3 in 7.4 overs when Joe Root pulled Ashwin into the hands of Ishant Sharma, who ran in from deep square-leg.
Dhoni effected another brisk stumping - though this time with some help from third umpire Bruce Oxenford (Australia). Replays were not conclusive but the umpire gave Ian Bell out off Ravindra Jadeja.
With the ball turning and close-in fielders attacking, India were on top and England 46/4 in 10 overs.
India post 129/7 in 20 overs
Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja helped India to 129/7 in 20 overs in the rain-truncated game.
India were in trouble at 66/5 in 13 overs when Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja's aggressive 47-run stand in 5.3 overs lifted the team to a fighting total.
Kohli was dropped by Jonathan Trott on 36 but was removed with the addition of 1 more run, by James Anderson. R Ashwin was run out for 1 in the final over.
Jadeja was not out on 33 off 25 with 2 fours and 2 sixes. Kohli made 43 off 34 with 4 boundaries and a six.
Earlier, after waiting for 6 hours and 20 minutes since the toss happened, finally the game got under way (8.50 PM IST). Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma walked out to bat in a Twenty20 game with 50-over playing conditions.
It was a cautious start against James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Rohit looked uncomfortable in his brief 14-ball stay for 9. Broad got him bowled and soon after his wicket, rain arrived. India's innings was halted at 28/1 in 5.4 overs.
Again it was time for rain to make a re-entry. Players were off the ground with India at 38/1 in 6.2 overs. Then rain stopped and umpires scheduled an inspection of the ground at 5.20 PM local time (9.50 PM IST) and restarted at 10.10 PM IST.
Dhawan hit two boundaries off offspinner James Tredwell after resumption but was dismissed for 31 in the next over by Ravi Bopara. The left-hander ended the tournament as the top run-getter with 363 runs. He won the "Golden Bat" award.
Dinesh Karthik was also back in the hutch soon after Dhawan. He top-edged a sweep off Tredwell and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler completed the catch.
India were jolted by Bopara when he bowled a superb double-wicket maiden over. First, he dismissed Suresh Raina and in the same over (13th of the innings) had captain MS Dhoni for a duck. In his first three overs, Bopara was outstanding with figures of 3-1-8-3. In his final over, Kohli hit 2 fours and the right-arm medium paceman finished with 4-1-20-3.
Finally, good news
A long wait of over 5 hours will end when play begins. It is now a Twenty20 contest with 8.50 PM IST start.
First, match was reduced to 24 overs per side and was set to commence at 8.15 PM IST (3.45 PM local). But rain returned further delaying the start.
As the final was to start at 3PM IST, it started drizzling which forced the players off the ground. With intermittent drizzle there was frustration among the spectators and players. But finally sun came out and at 7.30PM IST, umpires inspected the ground and decided there will be some action. With over 5 hours of play lost, the game had to be reduced to 24 overs per team.
Toss Report and earlier updates
England captain Alastair Cook won the toss and asked India to bat first. But start of play was not possible due to rain. Umpires were scheduled to have an inspection of the pitch at 7.30PM IST.
India went into the game with an unchanged side while the hosts brought in Tim Bresnan for Steven Finn. It will be a big test for openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma in overcast conditions.
For the entire tournament, India have played with same XI. This is the 5th match that India have retained same set of 11 players.
There was rain since yesterday and also this morning and forecast is not good for cricket. There is no reserve day for the final and if the match is washed out, India and England will be declared joint winners.
In case of a tied final, the champions will be spotted via the Super Over.
India are playing in a Champions Trophy final for the third time. They lost to New Zealand in 2000 and shared the trophy with Sri Lanka in 2002 following rain interruptions on two days.
England are playing in a second Champions Trophy final. West Indies defeated them in 2004 when the tournament was held in England for the first time.
This is the last edition of Champions Trophy.
India: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), R Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Suresh Raina, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav.
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Joe Root, James Tredwell, James Anderson, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Eoin Morgan, Jonathan Trott.
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and Rod Tucker (Australia)
Third umpire: Bruce Oxenford (Australia)
Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka)