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Thursday, 1 September 2011

England hold their nerve as India lose again


England inflicted yet another defeat upon India as they won the lone Twenty20 international by six wickets at Old Trafford on Wednesday. The hosts, chasing 166 to win, finished on 169 for four with three balls to spare as Samit Patel struck three fours in as many Vinay Kumar deliveries.


England hold their nerve as India lose again

World Twenty20 champions England, who thrashed India 4-0 in the preceding Test series, saw Eoin Morgan take them to the brink of victory with 49. Ravi Bopara (31 not out) and Patel (25 not out) then saw England home.

But England seamer Jade Dernbach was named man-of-the-match for a brilliant return of four for 22 that restricted India to 165 when the tourists were on course for a much bigger total.

Defeat left World Cup holders India still searching for the first win against England this tour heading into a five-match one-day international series starting at Chester-le-Street on Saturday.

But the result gave Stuart Broad his first win as England Twenty20 captain following a nine-wicket defeat by Sri Lanka in Bristol in June in his first outing as skipper.

India, who won the toss, made a blistering start and were 104 for one, with Ajinkya Rahane making 61 off just 39 balls on his Twenty20 international debut. He received good support from veteran batsman Rahul Dravid, also playing his first Twenty20 international, who made 31 including three sixes in as many balls off left-arm spinner Samit Patel.

But once they were out, India's innings fell away and only Suresh Raina (33) made another significant score. India were without injured batsmen Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir but 23-year-old Rahane made light of their absence with an array of stylish shots.

But Dravid, having found his range, drilled a catch off medium-pacer Bopara straight to Morgan in the covers. Broad then took two wickets in the next over. He had Rahane skying to Dernbach at third man before Virat Kohli edged an attempted hook and was caught behind.

India never recovered, with Dernbach removing India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni before dismissing Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel off successive deliveries to wrap up the innings with two balls remaining. England's reply started badly when debutant opener Alex Hales was plumb lbw for a duck to Praveen Kumar.

They found themselves 61 for three when Kevin Pietersen was brilliantly stumped for 33 by Dhoni off Virat Kohli. But Morgan, who faced just 27 balls with a six and seven fours, frustrated India before he slashed seamer Munaf Patel to Rohit Sharma at point.

Munaf conceded just three runs in the penultimate over to leave England needing 10 off the last. Umpire Rob Bailey then harshly gave a wide against Vinay Kumar before Samit Patel squirted two fours down to third man before smashing the next ball to the cover fence.

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