Eoin Morgan © Getty Images
Eoin Morgan walked in to bat when England were trailing at 63/3 © Getty Images

Aug 24, 2014

Continuous wickets had left England reeling and India looked like they were coasting for a win. Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes are making sure that there is fight in the English and have played some fine shots against the spinners. Morgan, in particular is his usual unorthodox self and has cracked a few boundaries to the fence. India continued to press the throttle on England after Joe Root was castled by a beautiful inswinger by Bhuvneshwar Kumar to send England reeling at 63 for three in the 13th over.

It was one of India’s best deliveries of the tour so far and India are firing on all cylinders here. After a tough start, Mohammad Shami put India on top with two wickets in one over. It was scintillating bowling from the Indian pacer and England were under the cosh, chasing a daunting target. First, it was Alastair Cook, who was adjudged leg before although replays showed that the ball pitched slightly outside leg. Then Ian Bell was out off a beauty, with the ball taking his off-stump out.

Earlier, England were moving along slowly and Alastair Cook has consumed too much time trying to settle in that in turn has put Alex Hales under pressure. The debutant though is unperturbed and he plays a couple of gorgeous shots to the fence. He plays a cover drive of Mohit which was simply majestic to watch and showed the full face of the blade. Cook is still struggling and Hales almost edged the ball to second slip but the ball went wide of the man and through to the boundary.England saw the target being revised to 295 in 47 overs and England had to go for their shots right away.

Bhuvneshwar bowled the first over and drifted one on his pads and Cook was on the march. Mohit Sharma bowled a gem of an over to Alastair Cook during the second over. The medium-pacer probed, teased and had cook uneasy. Bhuvneshwar’s third over saw the Alex Hales get his first boundary of his One-Day International (ODI) career. Mohit Sharma’s nagging line is frustrating England in the early overs.

Suresh Raina‘s magnificent whirlwind century for India, making England bowlers look like bits and pieces ragged Indian Premier League (IPL) cricketers propelled the visitors to a fighting 304 for six in seaming conditions in Cardiff. In what was Raina’s first century away from home, the southpaw’s flicks, drives and the use of his powerful bottom hand was in full display and after all the excellent initial work from James Anderson and Chris Woakes. England crumbled under the belligerent counter-attack by Raina, who was well supported by skipper MS Dhoni during his stay at the crease.

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