Ambati Rayudu top-scored in the match with an unbeaten 64 © Getty Images
Ambati Rayudu top-scored in the match with an unbeaten 64 © Getty Images

By Shiamak Unwalla

Aug 30, 2014

Ambati Rayudu got his third One-Day International (ODI) fifty, while Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane scored 40s to guide India to an easy six-wicket win against England in the third ODI at Trent Bridge. This after their bowlers and fielders helped restrict England to a paltry 227.

Kohli’s innings especially would have caused a number of fans to breathe a huge sigh of relief, as the batsman crossed 40 for the first time in an International-level match on English soil this tour. Shikhar Dhawan also looked good in his brief stay at the crease, but Rahane’s innings was very reassuring and provided some much-needed stability at the top.

Rayudu’s unbeaten 64, in partnership with Raina’s 42, saw India through to what turned out to be an effortless victory set up by their spinners led by Ravichandran Ashwin (3 for 39). Rayudu also took his maiden wicket in ODIs, as he enjoyed an excellent match all-round. Raina followed up his terrific ton in the first game with another positive innings.

Earlier, India bowled England out for just 227. It was a story of two halves: while the fast bowlers bowled, there were numerous “Ooohs” and “Aaahs” as the edges evaded the fielders and England’s opening duo of Alastair Cook and Alex Hales put on a stand of 82. Then the spinners were introduced and England crashed from 82 without loss to 149 for six before a brief recovery.

The slide was started by Suresh Raina, when he induced an outside edge from a Hales sweep shot to MS Dhoni. Soon, Ambati Rayudu (who was called on to bowl as Mohit Sharma had hobbled off the field earlier) picked up his maiden wicket in ODIs when he had Cook stumped by Dhoni down the leg side. Dhoni also became the wicketkeeper with the most stumpings across formats with the dismissal. At 93 for two, both well-set openers were back in the hut.

Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin soon joined into the action. Soon, Ian Bell was brilliantly run out when a throw from the deep by Mohit caught everyone unawares, as the direct hit caught Bell well short. Ashwin then induced a faint edge from Ben Stokes as Raina took a stunning low catch to his left at slip.

James Tredwell and Jos Buttler then managed to get in a few boundaries at the death, but Ashwin soon had Buttler bowled with a beautiful slow, flighted off-spinner. Tredwell managed a couple of late strikes, especially off Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the final over, as England stuttered to a mediocre score that was never going to be a challenge for a rampaging Indian side.

Earlier, India won the toss and asked England to bat. There was just one change respectively from each side, as Steven Finn got his first game of the India-England series when he replaced the wayward Chris Jordan. For India, Rohit Sharma’s injury forced them to draft Rayudu into the side, with Rahane slated to open the innings.

Brief scores:

England 227 in 50 overs (Alastair Cook 44, Alex Hales 42,  Jos Buttler 42; Ravichandran Ashwin 3 for 39) lost to India 228 for 4 in 43 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 45, Virat Kohli 40, Ambati Rayudu 64*, Suresh Raina 42; Chris Woakes 1 for 43, Ben Stokes 1 for 31, James Tredwell 1 for 46, Steven Finn 1 for 50) by six wickets.

Man of the Match: Ravichandran Ashwin

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Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)