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Rain Forces a Tie, England Wins the Series

Uzair Rizvi,  BeyondHeadlines

In a dramatic turn of the events, the fourth ODI at Lord’s was tied as per D/L method.

Rains seem to be following India wherever they go; in fact, India should be made to play in drought-affected areas of country.Atleast they would serve as a cause.

Confusion took over as to outcome at Lord’s for several minutes after a third interruption for rain terminally ended the game. The hosts were 270/8 in 48.5 overs in reply to India’s total of 280/ 5 in 50 overs.

England started their chase cautiously but pacer R.P.Singh removed both the openers Cook (12) and Kieswetter (12).
The host lost their third wicket when Praveen Kumar bowled Trott for 23 when he chopped onto his stumps in an attempted pull shot.

Reeling at 61/3 in 13 overs, Engand seemed to have settled in with Bopara and Bell building a handy partnership. They pushed the ball into the gaps and rotated the strike constantly. They brought up their respective half-centuries and put on 98 runs for the fourth wicket to lead England’s chase.

Jadeja got the important wicket of Bell when he tried to chip over covers only to mistime his shot and was caught at long off by Tiwary for 54.

England lost half their side when hard-hitting all-rounder Stokes (7) got a leading edge towards bowler Ashwin.

Then came an important period for England as both their lower-order batsmen Bresnan and Swann were involved with a 50-run partnership each with Bopara.
Bresnan was knocked over by R.P.Singh for 27.

England were 233/6 in 44 overs when rain came down but it halted the play for just five minutes. Forcing the game to restart the rain got heavier and finally players left the field after 45th over and England were ahead by two runs in the D/L par score.

After the second interruption, players came back on the field England took the batting power play. With dark clouds looming over the rain came again but the game carried on. Needing 11 from 9 balls, England lost back to back wickets off Swann (31) and Bopara (96) in Munaf Patel’s over and rain got heavier and everyone left the field with England tied on the D/L par score.

The match was finally called-off.
R.P.Singh scalped three wickets while Munaf, Praveen, Jadeja and Ashwin got wicket apiece.

Previously losing the toss and batting first, Indian openers Patel and Rahane got off to an edgy start, with the first four oh the innings coming only in the seventh over.

Broad checked in the 13th over, got rid off Rahane (38), and in next over got out Patel (27), leaving the visitors 70/2 after 15 overs.

Dravid and Kohli gauged the situation well and started milking the England bowlers for ones and twos, bringing up hundred in the 22nd over.

Cook brought in Swann and paid rich dividends as he picked up the wicket of Dravid (19) and Kohli (16) in the same over.

A period of ten quiet overs followed, in which Dhoni and Raina tried to ease off the pressure with slow batting. From the 36th over Raina broke the shackles  and after then both the batsmen turned into a display of hard hitting especially in batting power play that produced 57 runs and brought 100 runs partnership.

Raina fell in the final over of the innings for 84 from 77 balls, Dhoni remained not out on 78, by then Indian posted a healthy total of 280/5 in 50 overs. They produced 109 runs in last 10 overs ripping the English bowlers apart.
Broad and Swann picked up two wickets each, Finn got one.

Dhoni”I will not crib about the tie, we played well. The ball got wet towards the end.Raina did well. We are yet to win anything; hopefully we will sign it off on a high.”
Cook “It was touch and go towards the end. I think tie was a fair result. Bopara was very good, it’s important that he is getting runs for us.”

Bopara and Raina were the joint Men of the Match for their important contributions in the game.

So, with another game tied, England have won the ODI series with 2-0 up and only one match to go at Cardiff on 16th September. But whether they remain on course for an unprecedented whitewash of India across all there formats this summer is perhaps the main point.

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