Friday, June 21, 2024

India humiliate England to clinch series


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Visitors register first ODI series win on English soil in 24 years

Birmingham: Ajinkya Rahane smashed his maiden ODI century as India clinched their first 50-over series win on English soil in 24 years after thrashing the hosts by nine wickets in the fourth one-dayer to take an invincible 3-0 lead in the five-match series, here on Tuesday.
India last won a bilateral ODI series in England in 1990. Back then, the tourists won both the matches in the two-match series — at Leeds (by six wickets) and Nottingham (by five wickets).
Opting to bowl today, the visitors first restricted England to a modest 206 and then overwhelmed the target in 30.3 overs to record their third consecutive victory in the ODI series at the the Edgbaston, in what turned out to be yet another lopsided contest.
While Rahane destroyed the pedestrian English attack with a 100-ball 106 with the help of 10 fours and four sixes, an woefully out-of-form Shikhar Dhawan (97 not out; 11x4s, 4x6s) also re-discovered his touch as the opening duo put on 183-run partnership off 28.4 overs to lay the foundation for the comfortable win.
It was a dramatic turnaround for India after the shambolic 1-3 drubbing in the recent Test series, in which the batsmen struggled to cope up with the swinging ball.
Earlier electing to bowl, Indian bowlers produced a disciplined effort to bundle out England for a below-par 206 with Moeen Ali’s 67 being the top-score for the hosts.
Ali’s second ODI fifty guided England to a score of respectability as the hosts were bowled out in 49.3 overs as they wasted a perfect first-use of a good batting surface with only three batsmen crossing the 20-run mark.
Ali faced 50 balls, hitting four boundaries and three sixes, while Mohammad Shami (3-28) ended up as India’s best bowler on the day.
He was ably supported by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-14) and Ravindra Jadeja (2-40), while R Ashwin (1-48) and Suresh Raina (1-36) were the other wicket-takers.
Playing his first ODI, Dhawal Kulkarni (0-35) went wicket-less in his seven overs.
Rahane took the lead early-on as Dhawan took his time settling down. The former was quickly off the blocks as he struck four boundaries in the fifth over bowled by James Anderson (0-38).
It helped the scoring rate quite a bit and when Dhawan got going as well, India’s first 50-run mark came up in good time in the 10th over. It was incidentallly also the first 50-run partnership by an Indian opening pair on this tour.
Rahane, who has moved up from number four in light of Rohit Sharma’s injury, scored his fifty in style off 60 balls with the help of six fours and two sixes, hitting Moeen Ali (0-40) for maximum off the first ball of the 18th over. Three balls later, he brought up his 100-run stand with Dhawan.
The big-hitting Dhawan did play some lusty shots as well, hitting his first six in the 21st over off Anderson and bringing up his first half-century of the tour and his eighth ODI fifty overall. He got to the mark off 57 balls with the help of seven fours.
Their charge towards victory-line continued unabated as the English bowlers had no answer to the duo’s unabashed hitting on a placid wicket. The pair brought up their 150-run stand in the 25th over off just 149 balls.
Rahane really accelerated after reaching his half-century, scoring his next 50 runs off only 36 balls with another four boundaries and two sixes. He got to his maiden land-mark in the 28th over off 96 balls.
Just when it appeared that the two would finish the job as India took the batting power-play in the 29th over, Rahane was dismissed after a splendid innings, caught by Cook off Harry Gurney (1-51).
Vice-captain Virat Kohli (1 not out ) then came to the crease but there wasn’t much for him to do as Dhawan hit two more sixes along with three fours in a space of nine balls to wrap up the match with 19.3 overs to spare. (PTI)


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