England v India, Champions Trophy, final, Edgbaston June 23, 2013

Cool India steal title in 20-20 sprint


India 129 for 7 (Kohli 43, Jadeja 33*, Bopara 3-20) beat England 124 for 8 (Morgan 33, Ashwin 2-15, Jadeja 2-24) by 5 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Pinch yourself again and again. This match was completely out of the realms of reality. After the ICC - who hadn't considered it fit to have a reserve day for the final - added 75 minutes to the rainy day to accommodate 20 overs in the final, both sides panicked in the compressed environment; Ravi Bopara was the bowling demon for England; India defended 129 with slip, gully and silly point for spinners; Ishant Sharma, the most expensive bowler, was the first to bowl out and took two crucial wickets in his last over; and MS Dhoni led superbly to become the first captain in the world to have won all ICC trophies.

The only aspects of this game remotely real were the effectiveness of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, and the early fluency of Shikhar Dhawan and Jonathan Trott. Around them, everything went topsy-turvy. The pitch turned square, despite all his efficiency Jadeja didn't attempt a crucial run-out, the third umpire seemed to make a big dubious call with Ian Bell's stumping, but then again there was Dhoni making a superlative call under pressure.

You can spend hours debating it, and wonder how it worked. On this turner, Ishant had been the easiest bowler to hit. His three overs had gone for 27, and you asked yourself why he got even the fourth. That third had brought the target down to 48 off 30 thanks to a six smoked clean by Bopara. However, with three overs left and 28 to get - Umesh Yadav had two to go, Ashwin, Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar one each - Dhoni went to Ishant.

Even if Yadav had been injured, Bhuvneshwar - three overs for 19 - had one left. The only possible explanation for that choice could be that England would want to kill off the chase in ishant's over and thus take an undue risk.

Dhoni's hunch, though, seemed to be going bust after a pulled six and two wides from either side of the stumps: 20 off 16 now. Who knows how these things in big limited-overs matches work with Dhoni, but Ishant bowled a slower ball and Eoin Morgan mis-hit to midwicket. It was a front-of-the-hand slower ball, pretty much common fare in limited-overs cricket today, but Morgan didn't pick it.

The next ball seemed even more innocuous on the face of it. Short ball, no sting, head high, pulled down clean, but straight to the fielder at square leg. Roll that dismissal back, though. And it is difficult to figure out the logic here, but there was no midwicket for that ball. That man inside the circle was at square leg, next to the umpire. Ishant Sharma was Dhoni's new Joginder.

The bizarre events weren't quite over. In the 19th over, Jadeja, almost unplayable and wise so far, had a chance to run the diving Stuart Broad out but he chose not to try. Jadeja could be forgiven a moment after having bowled well all through the tournament, after having scored the pivotal 33 after India had been 66 for 5, and after having begun India's turnaround with the ball. That was India's last mistake too.

In the 20th, bowled by Ashwin, when Stuart Broad hit a leg-side four, Dhoni brought everybody on the off side asking the batsman to clear it if he thought he was good enough. Broad wasn't on this occasion. Surprisingly Broad didn't try to dominate the strike, leaving Tredwell to get 10 off the last three balls. The only way England could have won was for Broad to hit two fours or a six, but two couples later the six off the last ball was a bridge too far for the lesser batsman on a turning pitch. The last ball was cue for an expressive celebration - by his standards - for Dhoni who has been through a tough time over the last two years.

India had won a thrilling final of what has been a good tournament, but all was not right. This was hardly the ideal match. The ICC had only tried to cover its backside by stretching the match to 8.30pm. This match should never have been played today after the amount of rain Edgbaston had taken, but there was no tomorrow. So we had a match that put both the sides out of their comfort zones. The Indian batsmen had no rhythm going in and out, and England were playing essentially a T20 with three men who don't make the T20 side. Remember when the XIs were named at the toss, this was a 50-over game.

In the first exchange, though, India seemed to struggle more. On the wrong side of the toss, with two rain breaks in the first half of their innings, they couldn't really have planned their innings, and soon found themselves struggling when it came to the run-rate. That brought panic, and Bopara was the beneficiary with the wickets of Dhawan, Suresh Raina and Dhoni - for his first duck in ODIs since October 2010. In the last seven overs, though, Virat Kohli and Jadeja brought India back with a punchy partnership of 47 off 33. Kohli couldn't see India to the end, but Jadeja did, his knock including an inside-out six off James Anderson.

For some reason, the England batsmen panicked in the chase too. Trott was fluent, but spin brought the turnaround. Jadeja began with a tight fifth over, and Ashwin got Trott stumped in the next with a dipping offbreak outside leg. Kohli, at backward short leg, had begun to move even before Trott had had an opportunity to strike the ball, but the umpire either didn't notice it or didn't consider the movement significant enough to call it a dead ball. Had Trott connected and had Kohli caught it, scenes would have been less savoury.

In the next over came another less-than-ideal play. Bell was given out stumped when the third umpire couldn't have been sure that the foot was in the air when the wicket was put down. England were so displeased Eoin Morgan even made a sign for the review.

Morgan managed to put it behind him and, with Bopara, nearly pulled off a special win with calculated hitting and smart running between the wickets. But that was before England imploded, losing four wickets for three runs. You can watch replays of that Ishant over that took out both Morgan and Bopara many times over, but will struggle to explain it logically. Sometimes you just can't from the outside. Sometimes you have to pinch yourself.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sheik on June 24, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    @Baseball--Sucks - "Winning doesn't matter - consistency does" ... wow sour grapes really.. being the bridesmaid in every edition of ICC tourney in the last 2 decades is not such a huge accomplishment i'm afraid.. mate you sound exactly like jayawardene - is that really MJ in disguise of baseball-sucks?.. well just a one liner for you mate - the world remembers CHAMPIONS - not runner's up or SF lists.. if you're looking for participation - please follow charity matches cos International matches are all about winning(in fair spirit) not just participation or being competitive... Long live team India.. You made us prouder than ever.

  • John on June 24, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    @Harmony111 - Listen it's pointless. I've noticed that when anyone says anything you can't argue with you say to them that they are taking what is said out of context or twisting things without even saying how they are twisting things/taking them out of context. Half my responses don't get published anyway even if there is no way they can be deemed as offensive - esp when compared to original posts. Re this thread , yes CM has made sense and I have said the same re ICC/ECB's organisation and scheduling of cricket in general , but most of his posts are what I said they are , but then I've never seen you recognise when one of your fellow fans is doing what FFL (which I've poured scorn on in this thread) continually does re Eng. And if 5Wombats and Si Baker were as you make them out to be they'd be on here purely to discredit India.

  • John on June 24, 2013, 22:20 GMT

    @samincolumbia on (June 24, 2013, 18:56 GMT) FFL's comms are a joke and if you read down you can see that I have poured scorn on his and a few other Eng fans ungracious comms. And I've never said Eng are a great team.

  • John on June 24, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    @ Shan156 on (June 24, 2013, 19:34 GMT) Thanks for the comms there. And yes the use of the word popular in is at best unfortunate , but in reality comedy genius

  • Shanmugam on June 24, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    @Harmony111, I am not going to deny that there are some anti-India posts here and some excuses from Eng. fans for this defeat. But, I am sure you will admit that there are an equal #, if not more, of anti-England posts as well. Like you said, England did bowl well and were probably the only team to give India a tough fight. Yet we are considered useless in ODIs. I don't have any problems with Indian fans enjoying their fully deserved victory but why bash England? I don't think Dhoni thinks that England are a poor ODI side even though he has enjoyed a lot more victories against us than he has tasted defeats. These fans are actually demeaning India's victory by labelling Eng. a poor side. After all, India just beat a poor side who defeated SA, Aus. and NZ (these sides mut be poor too, then). How does it make them great? Fact is, India are the best ODI side but Eng. are a good side too.

  • Harry on June 24, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    Can't believe that still there are many English & neutral supporters who are saying that India was lucky to win. When Dhoni gave the ball to Ishant in that over he thought that the 2 set batsman could probably go after him & give the chance to break the partnership. Not saying that it was impossible to hit the spinners - Bopara had sweeped jadeja for a six in one of the overs - but it was definitely slightly easier to play pacers than spinners. Anyways somebody had to bowl 1 of the 4 rem overs. Raina is a gamble, Bhuvi is inexperienced & Yadav can be a bit erratic & his pace could hav been used for hitting boundaries by the 2 set batsmen. So Ishant being experienced was the obvious choice. Also Ishant's history of bowling is very dodgy. So it was a bait for the 2 set batsmen, a calculated risk which paid off.

  • Harry on June 24, 2013, 20:11 GMT

    Hearty Congratulations to my Team India!!! :)

  • Harmon on June 24, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    @sandy7823: Look, explaining each wicket is not equivalent to saying the batsman threw it away. The game is of such a nature that great bowling can be nullified by great batting and poor bowling can get wickets due to reckless batting or sheer luck (and all the other combinations of these). If Indian batsmen were going for their shots what prevented them from getting runs? I am not saying Eng were brilliant with the bowl but they gave away few loose bowl and very few 4/6 balls. I was hoping India would get at least one big over of 18-20 in the final 4 but it did not come, why? Cos Eng bowled good. India batted poorly on moments for eg Raina/Karthik, were unlucky on moments such as Dhoni and on some moments Eng bowled a bit too well for eg the final overs and in between.

    I had said Ishant was our weak link and with him anything was possible, mostly bad. He did bowl poorly, went for 2 6s & also got two lucky wickets. Morgan nearly did it. Butler failed but so did MSD, so is he weak?

  • Harmon on June 24, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    @JG2704: It seems something has been brewing between you and Cpt.Meanster for a while. Earlier you were asking me to explain his opinion (btw, those comments of mine finally got published, pls have a look there). On this article, I did not see Cpt.Meanster making any comments against English team on this article, can you pls point out the one that you referred to? Or were you saying that saying anything against ECB is the same as saying it against English team? By that logic 90% of non-Ind fans here are anti-India. What about them huh?

    The only place where Cpt said something like what you imply was when he said England should not have hosted CT at this time of the year. He also said that there must have been a reserve day for the finals at least. Pls show me what exactly is wrong in these comments. Eng, who do not value T20s, gave more imp to a T20I than to a ICC ODI Tournament Final?

    Lastly, you, me or Cpt are no saints. But compared to FFL, Wombats & Baker, we might be !!!

  • Shanmugam on June 24, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster, "Just cause I am one of the most notable and popular posters here, you are picking on me" :-) Sorry, but that was really funny.

    "But I do say positive things about England from time to time."

    Your post usually reeks of antipathy towards English cricket. So, what you think of our team matters little to any of us England fans. JG, being a very sane poster, probably though that good reasoning would work with you. Sadly, it hasn't. At the end of the day, England are a good ODI team as proven by their very good home record (one defeat in last bilateral series against all teams), their good away record (wins in WI, SL, SA, NZ, and UAE) and the fact that they were the runners-up in the 2013 ICCCT. If Eng. are so poor in T20I, what does that make India who were only able to tie the T20 series with us in India and lost the one-off T20 in England. If we are so poor in ODIs, why did you lose 0-3 to us in our last bilateral series in England?