June 24, 2013
World Champions India now have their hands on both major ODI trophies, having triumphed by 5 runs against England in the final of the Champions Trophy at Edgbaston. It was heartbreak for England who came so close, but no-one can deny that India deserved their victory as they kept their cool as the match reached its climax. Having won five straight matches, they were clearly the best team in the tournament.
At the 10-o/clock toss England inserted India, but with the players about to take the field, drizzle triggered a frustrating delay. The crowd, seemingly 80% Indian, who had kept themselves amused all day, were rewarded as play finally got under way at 4.30 pm, with the match reduced to 20 overs a side.
India started uncertainly and, not helped by two rain interruptions, struggled to assert themselves against the new ball pairing of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad. Ravi Bopara (3-20) and James Tredwell (1-25) completed impressive four over stints in the middle of the innings before Virat Kohli (43) and Ravindra Jadeja (33 not out) hit out cleanly to take India to a barely respectable 129-7.
England looked distinctly nervous as they set about chasing the total. Captain Alastair Cook edged to slip and Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott were both stumped as India’s spinners took control on a pitch showing surprising degrees of turn. Joe Root surrendered tamely and it was left to Eoin Morgan (33) and Ravi Bopara (30) to steady the ship before mounting a challenge. As England came within range (only 20 needed from the last 15 balls), Ishant Sharma turned the game on its head by dismissing Morgan and Bopara off successive balls. Jos Buttler perished first ball and in the last over, bowled by ice cool Jadeja, England’s last hope Tim Bresnan ran himself out in schoolboy fashion. India had triumphed by 5 runs. Jadeja, with figures of 2-24 to back up his impressive knock, was made man of the match.
And what next for the two teams? India return home victorious while the England team turn their attention to the Ashes, now just 17 days away. MS Dhoni should consider installing a bigger trophy cabinet in his house – as captain he has won every tournament in the game. As for Alastair Cook, he probably now has a better understanding of why he doesn’t play T20 cricket.
The Scoop 24/06/13