England in India 2009 – 3rd ODI, Kanpur
The current Indian captain, MS Dhoni is a proud man following his teams effort in winning third consecutive ODI against England and helping his records as a captain. India did the heavy work over an under-par England total in the first closely contested match of the series. India won the game thanks to the superior run rate under the Duckworth/Lewis method when bad light stopped play which curtailed the chase to 40 overs. India were 16 runs ahead of the D/L par score when bad light stopped play. When play was not possible any further India were declared winners by 16 runs. For more On the match read on..
The players were welcomed with a thick haze covering on the ground at Kanpur, With almost no visibility play was delayed by 45 minutes before the toss could take place. The game was reduced to 49 over a side, which should have been a lot more than what the captains should have expected. England won the toss and without any hesitation England Captain Kevin Peitersen decided to bat. It was probably the only decision Pietersen my regret in the match, probably a decision that cost him the match. Grame swann made his way into the England side, while Ishant took the place of RP singh for India.
Dhoni took the filed with aggression running to his mark. England on the other hand, trying to improve on their batting performances made changes to the batting order. Ian Bell and Ravi Bopara took England off to a cautious start. The duo scored a good 79 run stand(14.3 Overs) before Bell fell to a good length delivery from Munaf patel. The batsman was caught behind by Dhoni to what had been a tidy spell from Munaf. Kevin Peitersen joined the party as he scored a few boundaries to get him started, but the captain failed to fulfill responsibility as he lofted the ball straight to the Zaheer Khan at long off. Harbhajan had his man. Earlier Pietersen played a similar shot over long on for maximum off Yuvraj singh. Harbhajan on the other hand had the batsman beaten in flight forcing the batsman into committing the mistake. England all of a sudden were in a spot of bother at 102/2 in the 20th over. Collingwood soon followed as he was out stumped to a doosra from Harbhajan Singh, An Absolute beauty. The batsman was forced forward into playing the delivery while the ball turned away. Dhoni was quick in taking off the bails leaving England at 106/3 in 21.2 overs.
A more determined Andrew Flintoff took the field and he along with Bopara took england out of the hole. Dhoni tried changing the bowlers around. Man of the Match in his last 2 matches, Yuvraj singh was brought into bowl and he did not disappoint. A beauty from Yuvraj, Pitching in middle and going away from the right hander, Bopara was stumped by MS Dhoni the batsman left stunned by the turning delivery. The crowd had already started celebrating.
India after losing the toss were in a comfortable position. Yousuf Pathan in his very first over, 37th of the inning, picked up the price wicket of Andrew Flintoff out LBW. The bowler literally jumped his way into getting the wicket(What an appeal). Owais shah did his bit, but not before he was deceived by another classic delivery from Harbhajan. He was caught in a similar fashion like Pietersen. Samit Patel known for his good hotting tried to score a few runs, but tried to play one too many before getting caught in the deep off a slower delivery from Ishant Sharma. Ishant picked up Prior in the very next ball bowled leaving England at231/7 with only 2 overs remaining. Zaheer picked up broad and Munaf picked Anderson as consolation wickets in a day where spin dominated seam. India were set a modest target of 241 in 49 overs.
Knowing the fact the Kanpur loses light very early Indians started off in a cautious fashion. After scoring fifties in his last 2 matches, Gambhir(14) was out caught at third man trying to slice a short delivery over point. Suresh Raina(1) continued his poor showing in he series as he tried to drive a length delivery aiming the cover boundary. The ball however knocked his stump off the inside edge of the bat. India at 34/2 in 9.1 overs with Virender Sehwag(18) stranded at the other end had a partnership to build. Rohit sharma played a good innings and he along with Sehwag took India past the 100 run mark. before he was dismissed for 28 by a turning Swann delivery. He was out caught behind as he tred to cut a ball too close to the off stump which took the outside edge into the hands of Matt Prior.
In-form Yuvraj singh joined Sehwag and he took charge of the Indian innings scoring a few boundaries of what could be called ‘Good’ deliveries. Sehwag decided that spin would be attacked – Samit Patel put down a hard caught-and-bowled when he was on 47 – and raised his half-century with a six off Graeme Swann. Flintoff’s return in the 26th over ended Sehwag’s resistance on 68, thanks to a brilliant reaction catch from Paul Collingwood at backward point. Sehwag absolutely smashed the ball and Collingwood intercepted it.
Dhoni joined Yuvraj with India at 125/4 requiring a further 116 to win in 23 overs. Attempting to edge ahead of the D/L requirement, India took their batting Powerplay after 34 overs, and Yuvraj welcomed it with a six. Attempting to hit another, he pulled Flintoff to deep square leg, holing out to Broad this time to leave the crowd stunned. India were ten runs ahead at this point in fading light. Dhoni scampered singles and Yusuf Pathan found the gaps as well, taking Flintoff for consecutive boundaries. Matt Prior fluffed a leg-side stumping off his captain to reprieve Yusuf in the 39th over, but by then it was game over for England. The umpires offered light to the batsman and with no hesitance Dhoni took it. The play was abandoned and India were declared winners by 16 runs. Harbhajan was declared man of the match for his 3 for 31.
Take a look at the ScoreCard
Thought the game ended well for India, England Cricketers were left rallying the umpires, but in the end Pietersen took it well with a shake hand with the umpires. “It’s frustrating” he said at the press conference. “It was getting dark at 4.30. But the umpires made their decision, and that’s the way it is – so we come out on bottom again.” A lot of discussions went about why this game could have carried on. Should the umpires or match referee be allowed to take a decision on the use of artificial light in case of bad playing conditions? In this case both captains had signed a pact agreeing not to use any artificial light in day games. Should the time for lunch break be reduced to accommodate the lack of time? What rules in ICC define the reduction of the no. of overs by only 1 when he play was stopped for 45 minutes? Should these rules be questioned? Are they ready for a change? Answers to all these questions and my opinion on the game follows.
In Other news developments, India have recalled the bowling all rounder Irfan Pathan following his stint at Ranji trophy picking 12 wickets in 2 matches playing for Baroda. Sachin Tendulkar has also been named for the next 2 matches. RP Singh and M Vijay have been left out.
PS: This post was meant to appear on Friday, but because i wanted to publish a more serious articel, i decided to delay this one by one day. Atleast i get to decide what i put up on what day. Feel pity for Pietersen and his team to what looked like an evenly fought contest. It’s just a game pete, learn from ur losses and u could be one Sourav Ganguly tomorrow 🙂