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Cool India win Champions Trophy

Rex Clementine


reporting from Birmingham


After hours of relentless rain, the packed house at Edgbaston on Sunday were given a real treat as India kept their cool to take home the ICC Champions Trophy beating England by five runs in the grand final here in Birmingham.


The victory meant that M.S. Dhoni became the first captain to complete the grand triple having won the ICC World T-20 (2007), ICC World Cup (2011) and ICC Champions Trophy. Into the bargain, Dhoni also had led India to the number one rank in Test cricket. In this tournament, India were the in-form team having maintained an unbeaten run throughout the competition.


England won the toss and put India in, but no play was possible until 4:20pm. Initially, the umpires decided to resume play at 3:45 in a game reduced to 24 overs, but a further downpour forced them to restrict the game to 20 overs. The Technical Committee at this point took a decision to extend play by two hours, which meant that the game could go on till 8:30pm.


There was an interruption during India’s innings, but the rain ceased and India finished with a total of 129.


England had been longing for some silverware in ODI cricket for some time and with them having to chase little over six runs an over, this seemed to be the perfect opportunity to improve on that record.


When Ian Bell was dubiously given out stumped by umpire Bruce Oxenford, England slumped to 46 for four in the ninth over and needed some lift.


A 64 run stand off 53 balls for the fifth wicket between Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara brought England to the brink of victory.
 
The 18th over bowled by Ishant Sharma proved to be decisive in the end and had lots of drama as Sharma turned from villain to hero in the matter of couple of minutes. After Morgan hooked a short delivery for six in the second over, Sharma looked out of sorts and bowled two successive wide deliveries. England were in the box seat then needing 20 off 17 balls with two set batsmen in. The next delivery, however, Sharma rolled his fingers across the seam and Morgan was deceived as he attempted to pull a wide delivery, but failed to connect properly and was caught.

Sharma struck gold when he dismissed Bopara in the very next delivery brining two new batsmen in.


England required 19 off the last two overs. The penultimate over bowled by Ravindra Jadeja cost only four runs as the new batsman struggled against spin. England lost Tim Bresnan and Jos Butler in that over. Ravichandran Ashwin was entrusted with the last over and he conceded just nine runs as India won by five runs.

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