Dhoni engineers India’s victory in Kanpur ODI (Lead)November 20th, 2008 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS
Kanpur, Nov 20 (IANS) India went 3-0 up in the seven-match Hero Honda Cup series, winning the third One-dayer against England by 16 runs in an evenly contested match through the Duckworth-Lewis (DL) system here Thursday.Chasing a target of 241 in 49 overs, India were 198 for five in 40 overs when poor light stopped play at the Green Park Stadium. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was batting 29 and Yusuf Pathan 12 when the umpires offered light India were ahead by 16 runs by the Duckworth-Lewis system.
Poor light in the morning forced a late start prompting the match officials to deduct one over each. At the toss, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the Duckworth-Lewis system would come into force and as luck would have it he was out in the middle to calculate the run-rate to India’s advantage.
After fireworks by Virender Sehwag (68) and Yuvraj Singh (38) in the middle overs after a slow start, Dhoni along with Pathan ensured that India stayed ahead in DL method.
It was a disciplined performance by the English bowlers led by medium-pacer Andrew Flintoff (3/31). The confidence of chasing a relatively low target saw India loose two quick wickets but Sehwag and Rohit Sharma (28) stitched a 73-run partnership for the third-wicket to build the platform for the chase.
Earlier, England batsmen failed to capitalise on a good start and were all out for 240.
The new opening combination of Ravi Bopara (60) and Ian Bell (46) gave England the best start in the series with a 79-run stand but a middle-order collapse saw their innings end in 48.4 overs in the 49-over contest.
Indian spinners again did the trick with Man-of-the-Match Harbhajan Singh picking up three for 31 and reaching 200 international wickets in the process. Fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who made a comeback after missing the first two matches, looked rusty in his two for 60.
England made changes in their batting order, promoting Bopara to open in place of Matt Prior. England’s 50 came up in the 11th over before Bell was caught behind off Munaf Patel.
Spinners Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan slowed down the scoring rate. England captain Kevin Pietersen (13) coming in at No. 3 tried to dominate the attack by lofting Yuvraj for a huge six but perished when he tried to repeat it against Harbhajan, caught at long-off by Zaheer Khan.
Harbhajan then enticed Paul Collingwood with a tossed-up delivery and Dhoni completed a smart stumping to reduce the Englishmen to 106/3.
Bopara at the other end excelled in his first crack as opener. His timing was perfect and hi strokes were crisp till he was beaten in flight by Yuvraj to be stumped.
Flintoff (26), Owais Shah (40) and Samit Patel (26) tried accelerate the scoring, but they could not hit their way out. Shah hit some breezy strokes before becoming Harbhajan’s 200th ODI victim.