India v England commentary
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Last Updated: 20/12/12 4:38pm
A thumping victory for a full-strength India side over an England side that has more than half-an-eye on development. In that sense it's not a completely wasted endeavour for England, with Hales and Wright offering further encouragement for the future and Lumb offering further evidence that he's short at this level. Meaker was erratic but genuinely quick. India's fielding was much improved from the Tests, and they never looked like failing to chase down a target that was always 20 runs light.
Dhoni doesn't let that run out affect him, pulling and driving boundaries before chipping over the infield for the two runs needed to complete victory.For IPL team-mates, Dhoni and Raina have had some iffy moments between the wickets tonight. It finally, and far too late to matter, brings a wicket as Dhoni sets off on a run before sending Raina back to no avail as Morgan this time hits the target.Raina swats Bresnan over the ropes at midwicket. The end is nigh.Wright bowls a wide - the 10th England have given up in this innings. Unlikely to be the decisive factor, but stil too many. Other than that, it's not a bad over from Wright, ending with Dhoni getting an inside edge just past the stumps.Easy game when you need under a run a ball. Dhoni and Raina knocking the ball around with ease.That run-out chance probably England's last to stay in this game. Raina drives Tredwell for a glorious four in an over when ones and twos are picked up all too easily. Only 32 runs needed from the last six overs.Chance! Great opportunity for England to remove Dhoni early as he sets off for a single but is sent back by Raina. He stumbles and falls as he attempts to turn, but Morgan sends his throw way wide of the target with Dhoni on his backside in the middle of the pitch. Morgan had time to throw the ball to Buttler, but went for the direct hit and got it horribly wrong.Game not quite over yet. Required rate down to a run a ball, but Meaker sends Kohli packing as he knocks back the off stump via a bottom-edged pull.Kohli takes on the boundary-scoring mantle with Yuvraj back in the shed, flaying Wright over extra-cover for four amidst some more steady accumulation of singles. A boundary and a few singles; that will do the job just wonderfully for India now.Raina joins Kohli in the middle and embarks on some mid-innings nurdle-scamp. Five singles followed by a two from the last ball of Tredwell's over.Keeps England just about in the game, but you wonder whether Yuvraj needed to do that. He'd just hit a six and was winning this game for India with plenty to spare. Just tried to manufacture something there.Key wicket falls. Yuvraj had already had a stroke of good fortune when top-edging a bouncer over fine-leg for six but no such luck next ball as he aims over square-leg and doesn't quite get all of it. No nonsense from Meaker this time, who judges the catch perfectly just inside the rope.Looks like being another good over for Tredwell until Kohli flashes the last ball of the over behind point for four. Perfectly good delivery, but outrageous footwork and fast hands from Kohli send the ball racing away to the fence.Roars from the crowd as Yuvraj slog-sweeps Briggs miles over the ropes at midwicket and then flicks him away to the same boundary for a one-bounce four. Briggs under pressure in his first over, and responds with a full-toss that Yuvraj swats over square-leg for a second maximum in the over. India scampering towards victory now after a few better overs for England.Spin straight after the powerplay as Tredwell comes on with a tidy first over. Three singles, and a scampered two as Yuvraj works to leg.Seriously rapid delivery from Meakrer to start his second over. Yuvraj fences at it involuntarily and picks up a lucky four over the slips off the outside edge. A bouncer is harshly called a wide on height before Yuvraj survives an lbw shout after being pinned on the knee playing back. Ball pitched outside leg.Two new batsmen at the crease as Yuvraj joins Kohli. Eventful over: two wickets and one of the most comical dropped catches you'll ever see.The luckiest man on the ground is Stuart Meaker. Just two balls after Rahane scoops the ball straight to him - whereupon Meaker juggled the ball to put down not one, not two, but three separate easy chances - the batsman miscues a pull shot to Patel at mid-on.Much-needed breakthrough for England. Slower-ball bouncer from Bresnan is struck pretty well by Gambhir, but it's straight to the man at deep square-leg, and Hales takes a smart catch above head height. England had the right man out there; someone like Morgan or Patel would not have taken that catch.Meaker into the attack. If you've not seen him before, imagine a bowler of Darren Gough's height and Andrew Flintoff's width. Then mentally merge their bowling actions. That's Meaker. Decent first over in T20I cricket, and decent pace as well. Regularly up over 140km/h and giving up just four singles.Dernbach showing his full range here: bowling down the legside to both right- and left-handers. Rahane will feel he's missed out after failing to get bat on it, but his team doesn't as the ball flicks off the thigh-pad and away to the fine-leg boundary. A second glorious six for Rahane follows as Dernbach opts conservatively for full and straight. The India opener smashes it over the sightscreen with a thrilling free swing of the arms. Dernbach down the legside again to allow Gambhir another easy boundary. This has been shocking stuff from Dernbach and Bresnan when defending a working but slightly sub-par total. Nasser sums up the problem on commentary: "The bad balls are going for four, and the good balls are going for six."Bresnan follows Dernbach's maverick gameplan by starting with a wide. Rahane - a seriously talented player who should really have been somewhere in India's top six for the Tests - then launches a glorious six high and way, way back over long-on. When the left-handed Gambhir gets back on strike, Bresnan offers him width and the ball disappears to the point boundary.Dernbach obviously doesn't think England have got too many here, giving India a helping hand at the star with successive wides to Gambhir. After a single for each batsman, another wide and then a leg-stump delivery that Gambhir helps easily on its way to the fine-leg boundary. Terrible start from Dernbach, but he retrieves things slightly with two dot-balls to finish the over.India 4/9 with Sky Bet to chase down 158 at a shade under eight an over; England out to 13/8 to defend it. Head to skybet.com for in-play betting when India's chase gets under way.Good finish for England thanks to Buttler. He gets his scoop shot away this time and carries the rope at fine-leg for six. He then out-thinks the bowler with the next ball by going deep in his crease and correctly anticipating a slower ball which he crunches into the sightscreen for six. A scrambled two and a single from the last two balls mean England end on 157/6. It's below par after the start Hales and Wright gave them, but they've something to bowl at.Buttler just can't time the ball, and he's getting frustrated. Even his favourite shot - paddling the ball over short fine-leg - doesn't come off.Great catch from Kohli at long-on. Bresnan absolutely drills his first ball, but Kohli lines it up and takes the catch two inches off the turf. Two wickets for Dinda, but he's getting lucky. Every ball in this over has been length; England just haven't got them away.England keep picking out Rahane on the straight boundary. Dinda back into the attack, and Patel looks to go deep in his crease to get under the ball and clear long-off, but cloths it straight to the man.England get the big over they desperately need as Ashwin returns to bowl his last. A genuine, orthodox leg-break is smeared over midwicket by Buttler before Patel adds a second maximum in the same direction when the bowler offers a length ball on leg stump.Frenetic now from England, who know they've got this wrong. Much swiping and swishing from Patel and Buttler, but it brings only singles off Jadeja.England going nowhere here. Par would be around 170, I'd guess, and the tourists look like being 20 runs shy of that.First boundary since the 10th over as Patel flays a drive through the covers from the first ball of Yuvraj's final over. But still only seven runs from the over as Patel twice hammers the ball to the fielder at cover to give dot balls. Yuvraj finishes his spell with 3-19, and at the moment he's got this game tilting in India's favour.Chawla races through a cheap over as Patel and Buttler decide whether to stick or twist.Lots resting on Patel and Buttler now to rebuild this crumbling innings. Yuvraj with 3-0-12-3 as England collapse from 91/1 to 101/4 in three overs.India taking control now. The runs have dried up, and that so often leads to a tumble of wickets. Morgan goes for the slog-sweep but miscues it to long-on where Rahane takes his second catch.Yuvraj doing the business. Dhoni drops a relatively straightforward caught behind as Morgan looks to cut, but the very next ball finds the gap between bat and pad as Hales looks to go down the ground. Fine knock, but England are just starting to falter.Jadeja back into the attack. India putting the squeeze on England as Hales and Morgan reassess things. Pitch looks flat; England are going to need plenty. No boundaries in two overs since Wright fell.Four singles from the remaining five balls of Yuvraj's over. Captain Morgan (England's new policy appears to be that only players whose name provides whimsy when preceded by the word captain may lead the side) the new batsman. Yuvraj has snuck in with 2-0-9-1 while no-one was looking.Wright aims Yuvraj down the ground but slices the ball high into the sky and picks out Rahane. Sparky little innings, though.Dinda gets a second over. Probably down to the headband. Better pace in this over, but the runs still flow as Wright squirts the ball past short fine-leg for two and then hammers a pull shot to the midwicket boundary. The next ball is full and outside off stump, but Wright can only drill it straight to long-off. He throws his head back as he completes the single; wanted to get that more towards cover where it may have brought him another boundary. Hales blocks the last ball of the over straight back to the bowler, who hurls it back at the stumps and appeals for run out. It's not out.Seven bowlers in nine overs! Only Ashwin has bowled more than one as Yuvraj comes into the attack. Four singles from the first four balls of the over, and Hales' two take him to an excellent half-century. Hales keeps the strike with a sweep to deep square-leg, but just five singles from the over means Yuvraj has at least stemmed the flow for his captain.Six bowlers in eight overs as Kohli comes into the attack to bowl his curious little medium-pacers off the wrong foot. First chance missed by India in this partnership as a mix-up leaves Hales yards short of his ground at the non-striker's end as the ball flashes past the stumps. Given Kohli has little follow-through, he should really have got back to the stumps. Bit dozy. Wright clubs a six down the ground as England continue to impress. The partnership now worth 55.A fifth different bowler in the first seven overs as leg-spinner Chawla comes into the attack. Not a good start either, consistently too short and a fraction wide of the off stump. Wright thumps him through cover off the back foot for two before back-cutting fine of short third-man and then unfurling a more powerful cut shot through point to score back-to-back boundaries. He adds a single on the legside before Hales takes his chance to cash in on a wide long-hop and get his own cut boundary through point. Great start for England now.One-man show at the moment this, as Hales drills another six down the ground using his height and long levers to good effect to get to the pitch and then underneath a full delivery from Ashwin. That seems to rattle the bowler, who serves up a gentle full-toss next ball which Hales unfussily smacks through the covers for yet another boundary. Fifty up inside the powerplay; tidy start for England.Cracking stuff this from Hales, who smacks Jadeja over long-on for a big six before sweeping behind square-leg for a boundary to show he can do it against spin as well as pace.Wright in at number three, and immediately off the mark with a nurdle through the legside. Hales drills to wide long-on for another. Wright picks up two with a nudge past leg-slip off Ashwin's carrom ball and scampers back for two more after shovelling to leg. England 21/0 off two overs of pace, and 6/1 off two overs of spin.Lumb's horrible little innings put out of its misery as he misses an attempted sweep off Ashwin and is hit in front of the off stump. Height the only real factor, but looked a good decision.Awana replaces Dinda. He too gives Hales the chance to pull, but this time he doesn't time it and gets only two. Lumb almost manages to dozily run himself out at the non-striker's end by opting to make his ground with foot rather than bat but is just about safe. Rather sums up the lackadaisical start he's made. Can't say the same about Hales, though, and he picks up a third boundary by lacing a stand-and-deliver drive over extra-cover before flicking a leg-stump delivery past short fine-leg for four more. Hales tips-and-runs a single to cover to leave Lumb one ball in the over, and he finally manages to get off the mark as he aims an almighty heave over the legside and manages to hit the ball all of 10 yards towards square-leg.Ashwin shares the new ball. Didn't have a great time in the Test series - with the ball at least - but begins his work here with a maiden. Early days, but Lumb struggling to get the ball into gaps or off the square.Dinda takes the new ball, and immediately gets some swing back into the eft-handed Lumb. Big appeal for lbw second ball, but height saves the batsman. The very idea of the ball bouncing over the stumps should come as a relief to people who watched the fourth Test. First shot in anger is from Hales, who latches on to a fractionally short delivery from the headbanded Dinda and thrashes a pull shot through square-leg. DInda reckons it's a fluke and dives Hales another chance. He takes it.Meaker, Tredwell and Awana all making their T20 debuts here. India certainly the more experienced side - bit of an England Lions look to the tourists' XI.Let us know your thoughts on today's game. Mails to Dave.Tickner@bskyb.comSky Bet go 4/7 for India to win today, with England 5/4. Head to skybet.com for a full range of in-play markets.Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahana, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (capt, wk), R Ashwin, Piyush Chawla, Ashok Dinda, Parvinder Awana.Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Luke Wright, Eoin Morgan (capt), Samit Patel, Jos Buttler (wk), Tim Bresnan, James Tredwell, Stuart Meaker, Danny Briggs, Jade Dernbach.Jonny Bairstow misses out for England, so Somerset's Jos Buttler bats in the middle-order and takes the keeping gloves.MS Dhoni has won the toss and India will bowl first in Pune. Eoin Morgan admits he would have bowled first as well.It's all change in India. From the longest format to the shortest in the space of three days and - certainly in England's case - an almost complete change in personnel as Eoin Morgan leads an experimental squad in this two-match Twenty20 series. Today's match is in Pune, and starts at 1.30pm UK time. We'll have details of the toss and team news at 1pm so join us then.