Ashwin and ‘man-of-the-match’ Jadeja spin it India’s way after Kohli’s vital knock
India won the ICC Champions Trophy in sensational fashion on Sunday, defeating England by five runs in a humdinger at Edgbaston. Chasing 130, the home side — although this was not apparent from the feeble support it had at the venue — needed 15 runs off R. Ashwin in the lastover, and six off the last delivery, but James Tredwell failed to get bat on ball.
Ravi Bopara and Eoin Morgan had added 64 runs for the fifth wicket to take England to the brink of victory but Ishant Sharma excised both batsman in the space of two balls to turn things on their head.
Infuriatingly persistent rain had reduced the game, somewhat farcically for the final of a global ODI tournament, to a 20-over contest. India, put in, had the lusty hitting of Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja to thank for its score after Bopara had broken the spine of the batting with three for 20.
In pursuit, England opened sluggishly. The top three are not exactly cut out for Twenty20, and when captain Alastair Cook edged behind for two, it portended hardship for the side.
Trott raced away early rather uncharacteristically but was stumped down the leg-side off Ashwin.
Joe Root was then removed by Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ian Bell was given out stumped rather controversially, as England struggled against India’s spinners.
The host lost 22 for three between the fifth and tenth over as the match seemed in India’s control.
Bopara and Morgan, however, set about knocking the runs off. They batted with caution at first but with 59 needed off the last six, they accelerated.
Clean sixes were struck off Ishant and Jadeja as the equation eased down to 20 from 16 balls. It was then that Ishant did his bit, removing Morgan and Bopara off successive deliveries.
England lost five wickets for three runs in eight balls in that period as India secured a remarkable triumph.
After much inspection, sopping and draining, the game eventually got underway at 4:20 p.m. local time, some six hours behind schedule.
India lost Rohit Sharma early, bowled by Stuart Broad before a downpour forced the players inside in the seventh over, for close to an hour.
At the other end, Shikhar Dhawan had begun encouragingly, swiping James Tredwell to the deep-midwicket boundary.
First ball upon resumption, he cut Broad over third man for six, allaying fears that the break had disrupted concentration.
But at this stage, England introduced Bopara and he struck at once. Dhawan drove his second delivery, a fine slower ball, straight to the fielder at extra cover.
From 50 for one, India sank to 66 for five in under five overs. Dinesh Karthik wildly swept James Tredwell and was caught. Bopara then removed Suresh Raina and Dhoni in the space of five balls.
Kohli and Jadeja, however, assumed responsibility, adding 47 vital runs for the sixth wicket. Kohli was forceful as ever, a lightning-drive through the covers off Bopara and a six over fine leg-off Broad veritable highlights. India looked in trouble after Kohli’s dismissal for 43 but Jadeja was on hand.
The Saurashtra all-rounder smashed his way around to a 25-ball-33, as India, on a pitch that offered turn, ultimately felt in possession of a reasonable score.