Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s army helped India clinch their maiden ICC Champions Trophy yesterday after England failed to reach their victory target of 130 in a final which was reduced to 20 overs a side at Edgbaston. India restricted the hosts to 124 for 8 to earn a five-run win.
Rain played a crucial role in the game much to the chagrin of a packed house. The Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma finally went out to bat nearly six hours after the toss.
Despite all the moisture in the track, the ball didn’t deviate as much as many expected and Indian openers seemed to be adjusting well. You just felt a good ball was coming and Rohit got one that jagged back off the seam to knock over his stump.
Virat Kohli joined Dhawan and both started to push the accelerator before the rain intervened once again. Normally, the break favours the batsmen, but on this occasion, Stuart Broad’s first ball after the interval was upper cut by Dhawan for six.
Next over, Dhawan took the attack to James Tredwell by sweeping and reverse sweeping him to the fence. India were scoring at a run an over and England needed to change the tactics. In a brave move, Alastair Cook decided to turn to Ravi Bopara.
The move seemed to pay off as he deceived Dhawan with a slower ball to provide a break. At 50 for two, the game was still in the balance, but India were halted by some good bowling.
The pressure would eventually led to the downfall of Dinesh Karthik and Suresh Raina soon followed, trying to hoick Bopara out of the ground. When Dhoni’s upper cut fell into the hands of Tredwell at third man, England seemed to have one hand on the trophy.
Watching from the other end, Kohli found his feet and decided to attack. Bopara was spanked for two fours in succession and then he unleashed a furious pull of Tim Bresnan. From the other side, Ravindra Jadeja also found the fence with a couple of slogs and India were going again.
Kohli smashed Broad into the grandstand for a huge six before finally falling to Anderson going for another six. Jadeja then finished the innings in style by lofting Bresnan over long on. India had reached a total that could be competitive.
India 129-7 in 20 overs (S Dhawan 31, V Kohli 43, R Jadeja 33 not out; R Bopara 3-20 beat England 124-8 in 20 overs (E Morgan 33, R Bopara 30;
I Sharma 2-36) by five runs.