Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India batsman Ambati Rayudu scored a fluent half-century and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets as India breezed past England by six wickets in the third ODI in Nottingham.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni would have been brooding over his decision to bowl first early on after England captain Alastair Cook and Alex Hales amassed an 82-run partnership before Hales was caught behind off the bowling of Suresh Raina for 42.
Cook ended up making 44 before he was stumped by Dhoni off the bowling of Rayudu.
Joe Root only made two runs before he was also stumped by Dhoni, but only off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja.
Eoin Morgan scored 10 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Ashwin.
Ian Bell managed to make 28 runs before he was run out by Mohit Sharma.
Ben Stokes failed to have an impact with the bat as he was brilliantly caught by Raina at slip off the bowling of Ashwin.
Chris Woakes mustered 15 runs before he was caught by Sharma at deep square leg off the bowling of Mohammed Shami.
Jos Buttler saved England towards the end of their lacklustre innings as he scored 42 runs before he was clean bowled by Ashwin.
James Tredwell made a quickfire 30 before he was caught and bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
England were bowled out for 227 when Steven Finn, who was playing in his first international match in almost a year, was run out by Rayudu for six runs.
Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Raina, Rayudu, Shami, Jadeja and Kumar chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 228 to win, India got off to a poor start as opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan was caught by Morgan at point off the bowling of Woakes for 16.
Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli made up for the early loss of Dhawan with a 50-run partnership before Rahane was caught behind off the bowling of Finn for 45.
Kohli went on to score 40 runs before he was caught by Tredwell at mid-on off the bowling of Stokes.
Rayudu and Raina stabilised the innings with an 87-run partnership, during which Rayudu brought up his half-century, before Raina was caught by Woakes at long-on off the bowling of Tredwell for 42.
Rayudu and Jadeja mopped up the remaining runs with no problems whatsoever and India ended up reaching their target with seven overs to spare.
Rayudu finished on 64 off 78 balls, which included six boundaries, while Jadeja remained undefeated on 12 off nine deliveries, which included one boundary.
Woakes, Finn, Tredwell and Stokes claimed one wicket each.
Cook was disappointed to have lost again, and said: “We didn’t play very well. We had another good start and should have got more from 80 for none. We aren’t doing it right in the middle of the innings at the moment. We have to keep working and try to improve otherwise we won’t get enough runs. It’s easier said than done, but we have to work our nuts off to get better. It was great to see Steven [Finn] back after where he was in Australia.”
Dhoni was pleased with his team’s performance, and said: “The spinners did it for us. Ashwin and Jadeja did really well, but it was also Suresh’s spell after Mohit’s injury. I never thought it would spin and in the back of my mind I was wary the ball wouldn’t do a lot. Rayudu did very well, we are still looking for a No. 4 batsman and there are a few out there.”
Ashwin edged out Rayudu for the Man of the Match award, and said: “The downtime gave me some time to work on my bowling. I thought the wicket had some bounce, it was good to bowl on. Me and Jaddu have a good record against England which is a real help. I thought it [Raina’s catch] was going for four but he plucked it out.”