Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Cricket

England fall again after India have the final say


England captain Alastair Cook conceded he found it "tough to take" after seeing Champions Trophy glory snatched away in dramatic fashion by India but said he was proud of his side's performance in the tournament.

England had looked on course to win their first one-day international global competition after limiting India to 129 for seven in a rain-affected final – reduced to 20 overs per side – and then reaching 110 for four in reply.

However, the dismissals of Eoin Morgan (33) and Ravi Bopara (30) in successive overs following a 64-run partnership turned the game India's way and they took full advantage to claim victory by five runs.

Cook admitted his side had struggled on an awkward spinners' pitch at Edgbaston.

He said: "We wanted it in our hands, an opportunity to win the trophy and we came up a little bit short.

"I thought we bowled well, 130 you'd take that to chase but it was a slightly harder wicket to bat than we probably thought. It is just tough to take at the minute."

Asked if it was the pressure or the pitch that led to England's struggles in the closing overs where they lost four wickets for just three runs, Cook said: "I think the pitch was quite hard to bat on, I think both teams found it hard.

"That pitch turned a lot towards the end and it was very surprising that it turned as much as that, but credit to the way the Indian guys bowled.

"We were almost there. It was in our hands."

India won this tournament outright for the first time – they shared the silverware with Sri Lanka in 2002 – and Ravindra Jadeja took the individual honours for his unbeaten 33 and two wickets.

He shared a stand of 47 with top-scorer Virat Kohli (43) and then combined with fellow frontline spinner R Ashwin to account for four English wickets at a cost of only 39 runs in their eight overs.

England's innings was soon minus Cook, however, steering a catch to first slip where Ashwin took the chance neatly away to his right off Umesh Yadav.

Then Indian spin took over.

Jonahan Trott rushed past a wide at the start of Ashwin's spell, and then the off-spinner had Joe Root mis-hitting an attempted pull to be caught low down at deep backward-square by Ishant.

The dismissal of Ian Bell was controversial and significant, stumped off Jadeja after third umpire Bruce Oxenford deliberated at length.

Morgan and Bopara responded impressively, undaunted by a run rate which reached 10 but after three sixes between them was only a more achievable eight – until Sharma had his say, with two slower balls.

When Jos Buttler was then bowled first ball aiming a big hit at Jadeja, and Tim Bresnan comically run out, the equation had suddenly got away from the hosts.

Stuart Broad and James Tredwell did not give up but could not muster 15 to win from Ashwin's last over as England went on to lose their fifth ODI final.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph