ODI tri-series 6th Match: Taylor and Buttler help England reach final

Taylor was named Man of the Match for his magnificent knock of 82

Taylor was named Man of the Match for his magnificent knock of 82

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

England batsman James Taylor and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler both made half-centuries to not only help their side beat India by three wickets, but also reach the final of the ODI tri-series, where they will face Australia.

However, India opener Ajinkya Rahane deserves some credit as he scored a valiant 73.

England captain Eoin Morgan would have been brooding over decision to bowl first after Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan amassed an 83-run partnership before Dhawan was caught behind off the bowling of Chris Woakes for 38.

Following Dhawan’s dismissal, India’s top, middle and lower order, with the exception of Rahane absolutely collapsed as they went from 83/1 to being bowled out for 200.

Rahane top-scored with a brilliant 73, which came off 101 balls and included three boundaries and a six.

Rahane made a gutsy 73

Rahane made a gutsy 73

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Steven Finn was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Woakes, Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali snapped up two wickets apiece and James Anderson chipped in with one.

Chasing 201 to win, England got off to a horrible start as Ian Bell, Ali, Joe Root, Morgan and Ravi Bopara were all dismissed in quick succession.

With England reeling at 66/5, Taylor and Buttler stemmed the bleeding with a 125-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Taylor was caught by Stuart Binny at deep fine leg off the bowling of Mohit Sharma.

Taylor’s excellent knock of 82 came off 122 balls and included four boundaries.

Buttler ended up scoring 67 off 78 deliveries, which included seven boundaries, before he was caught by Ambati Rayudu at deep cover off the bowling of Mohammed Shami.

Buttler hit seven boundaries during his innings of 67

Buttler hit seven boundaries during his innings of 67

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Despite removing both Taylor and Buttler, India could not finish off the tail and England subsequently went on to win the match by three wickets.

Binny was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Sharma took two and Shami and Akshar Patel claimed one wicket each.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was disappointed to have lost the match, and said: “When we started batting, I thought we did decent with the new ball and a [few] more runs initially would have helped. Good bowling and poor selection of shots led to the low score and 40-50 more runs would have helped. I don’t think the wicket played a factor but the English bowlers extracted more from these conditions. We have to look at our attack keeping in mind the balance of the side. Two spinners suit us because Ashwin and Jadeja, and Ashwin and Axar can bat a bit while three seamers and a spinner weakens our batting, it’s a Catch-22 situation. Playing an extra seamer weakens the batting and even leads to a slow over-rate. We will be ready for the Pakistan match and the next few days will be helpful to switch off for some time and freshen up. Test series drains you a lot and we need to get our confidence back in the ODIs.”

Morgan was ecstatic to have made the final, and said: “We made it difficult for ourselves and both sides battled with the conditions. If guys got themselves in, then there was going to be an opportunity. The guys showed that they are ruthless once they set in, especially Buttler and Taylor. Buttler is excellent and there’s more to come. We have gone from strength to strength and our bowling has done well, building blocks on our way to the World Cup.”

Taylor was named Man of the Match, and said: “Delighted with the win and to make the finals, but credit to Buttler as well. I was trying to concentrate when wickets fell. I was struggling a bit and Buttler played an outstanding innings. I’ve been waiting to get some opportunities and trying to get my side over the line and I managed to do that today. I knew if I was there till the end we were going to be around thereabouts. Decent cricket wicket to be fair and the bounce was interesting.”

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