BIRMINGHAM, England, (Reuters) – A youthful India held their nerve to condemn England to more 50-over misery with their five-run victory in an enthralling finish to a rain-disrupted Champions Trophy final at Edgbaston yesterday.
In a match reduced to 20 overs a side having been in doubt for much of the day, a fifth-wicket partnership of 64 between Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara put England in sight of a victory target of 130 and their first major 50-over trophy.
But the pair fell to successive deliveries by Ishant Sharma and England’s lower order crumbled as the hosts finished on 124 for eight.
“This victory is sweet, especially beating England at home,” India batsman Virat Kohli told Sky Sports as his side added cricket’s second 50-over trophy to the World Cup they lifted at home in 2011.
“This victory is very sweet for us, we had some bad memories in India and this victory feels really nice,” he added referring to England’s test series win in India in December.
Miserly bowling by Bopara and James Tredwell helped England restrict India to 129 for seven after the start had been delayed by nearly six hours due to the all-too-common English rain which threatened to have the match abandoned with no rest day allocated.
Kohli top-scored with 43 and Shikhar Dhawan, the tournament’s leading run-scorer, made a breezy 31 but India were never able to dominate a disciplined England attack.
Rohit Sharma was bowled by Stuart Broad for nine and Dhawan mis-timed a drive in Bopara’s first over and was caught by Tredwell at mid-off.
Dinesh Karthik skied a catch off Tredwell and Bopara struck twice in his third over, getting Suresh Raina caught by Alastair Cook at mid-on and dangerman MS Dhoni well taken by Tredwell on the third man boundary.
Bopara completed excellent figures of three for 20 but Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja took 30 runs off the next three overs and Kohli, badly dropped by Jonathan Trott, launched Broad for a massive six over square leg.
Kohli skied James Anderson to long off but Jadeja finished unbeaten on 33 after clouting Tim Bresnan for another six in the final over of the innings. England lost wickets steadily at the start of their reply.
Cook fell for two, edging a catch to first slip off Umesh Yadav, Trott made a fluent 20 off 17 balls before being stumped by Dhoni off Ravichandran Ashwin and Joe Root pulled the same bowler straight to long leg.
Ian Bell’s laborious innings of 13 ended when he was controversially given out by the third umpire, stumped by Dhoni off Jadeja.
England were in deep trouble at 46 for four, bamboozled by the prodigious turn of Ashwin, Jadeja and Raina.
Morgan and Bopara brought up their 50 partnership off 47 balls and at 110 for four with three overs left the hosts were scenting victory.