India Takes 3-0 Lead Over England at Home
Published: November 21, 2008 (Issue # 1427)
KANPUR, India — India claimed a 16-run win over England under the Duckworth-Lewis method in a weather-hit third one-dayer on Thursday, taking a 3-0 lead in the seven-match series.
India, chasing England’s 240 all out, were 198 for five after 40 overs when poor light forced the players off the field and abruptly ended what was developing into a keen finish.
The hosts were 16 runs ahead under the Duckworth-Lewis method for weather-interrupted games and were declared winners in hazy conditions.
Poor light had forced a 45-minute delay in the morning, reducing the game to 49 overs per side.
Opener Virender Sehwag top-scored with 68 to lead the chase against England, who put up a vastly improved display after losing the first two games by 158 runs and 54 runs respectively.
All rounder Andrew Flintoff, who scored 26, grabbed the key wickets of openers Gautam Gambhir (14), Sehwag and the in-form Yuvraj Singh (38), who hit back-to-back match-winning hundreds in the first two games.
However, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (29 not out) and Yusuf Pathan (12) hung on to make sure India held wickets in hand, which kept them ahead when bad light intervened.
All rounder Ravi Bopara top-scored with 60 as makeshift opener and added 79 runs with Ian Bell (46) to lift a shaky England before they were all out with two balls left. Bopara struck eight fours until he was fourth out, stumped against Yuvraj’s occasional left-arm spin.
However, England’s batting reshuffle largely failed to work and off spinner Harbhajan Singh grabbed three wickets as slow bowlers once again kept a tight leash on the scoring.
The spinner removed skipper Kevin Pietersen (13) and out-of-form Paul Collingwood (1) from successive overs, returning three for 31.
He reached a career tally of 200 one-day wickets when he had Owais Shah (40) caught on the boundary.
“We put a lot of pressure on them, the aggression was there in the bowlers, they were fantastic today,” England skipper Kevin Pietersen told reporters.
“Unfortunately, playing in India, you need to score big runs. You got to get hundreds. Hopefully in the next four games it will happen.”
Flintoff and fellow paceman Stuart Broad bowled superbly in tandem to reduce India to 34 for two in their reply.
The all rounder had Gautam Gambhir (14) caught at long on by Broad, who forced Suresh Raina (1) to play onto the stumps.
Sehwag reached his 31st one-day fifty before Flintoff had him caught by a leaping Collingwood at point, finishing with 3-31.
Dhoni and Yuvraj added 52 runs but struggled to break free as off spinner Graeme Swann impressed in his first game of the series, returning one for 47.
However, England new ball bowler James Anderson conceded 11 runs in one crucial over before India scored freely in the final five-over period of field restrictions.
The fourth one-dayer will be played in Bangalore on Sunday.