India v England, only Twenty20, Kolkata October 29, 2011

Pietersen and Finn deliver England a rare win


England 121 for 4 (Pietersen 53) beat India 120 for 9 (Raina 39, Finn 3-22) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

England finished a tough tour of India on an upbeat note, as they preserved their world No. 1 ranking in Twenty20 cricket with a hard-earned six-wicket victory in Kolkata. Steven Finn, with 3 for 22 in four fast and accurate overs, was England's inspiration with the ball as they limited India's powerful line-up to 120 for 9 after MS Dhoni had won the toss. Then it was over to Kevin Pietersen, who overcame an anxious start, and a fourth-ball life, to silence a raucous and expectant crowd with a blistering 53 from 39 balls.

Given how poorly England had fared in their 5-0 whitewash in the ODI series, they began the match on a hiding to nothing. However, from the moment they claimed two wickets in the first eight deliveries of the match, they were the team dictating the pace of the contest. Suresh Raina, with 39 from 29 balls, threatened for a time to restore the status quo, as did the Indian spinners who dominated the thrust of their attack. But when Raina dropped Pietersen at backward square leg off R Ashwin in the fifth over of the innings, India squandered the chance to ramp up the pressure that had led to England's collapse of 10 for 47 on the same surface in Tuesday's fifth ODI.

Pietersen's response was far from instantaneous, however. Although he showed no ill-effects from the chipped thumb that ruled him out of the final ODI, the left-arm spin of Ravindra Jadeja helped to limit him to 2 from his first nine balls before a stunning change of approach reaped the richest of dividends. In the space of his next three balls, he dropped to his knees to scoop Yusuf Pathan over his head for his first boundary of the innings, before flipping to a left-hander's stance and butchering a perfect switch hit over the fence at what had been deep extra cover.

Craig Kieswetter had already fallen to a mistimed lofted drive off Jadeja, and when Alex Hales holed out to deep midwicket off Pathan, both of England's openers had fallen with 40 runs on the board. However, Samit Patel's combative hitting proved to be the ideal foil for Pietersen, and their 60-run stand from 46 balls broke the back of the run-chase. Patel played second-fiddle for much of their stand, not least when Pietersen pumped the last two balls of the eighth and nine overs for three fours and a six. But he was not averse to taking the aerial route himself, as he proved when he flogged Vinay Kumar into the stands at long-on.

Typically, the denouement was not without its alarms for England. With 100 on the board, Patel sliced Virat Kohli to cover to depart for 21, and one over later, Pietersen was also on his way - courtesy of a shocking lbw decision from umpire Sudhir Asnani, who was perhaps distracted by another change of stance from Pietersen when he put up his finger for a delivery that clearly pitched outside leg. However, Ravi Bopara got away with a plumb appeal in Raina's next over, as he and Jonny Bairstow sealed the match with 10 balls to spare.

If nothing else, the victory - England's first in an away match against India since 2006 - was due reward for an outstanding month's work from Finn. By trusting in the same virtues of line, length and pace that had earned him eight wickets in the ODIs, he claimed the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane with the fourth ball of the match, courtesy of an outstanding one-handed pluck in front of first slip from Kieswetter, then later returned to remove two dangermen, Raina and Ravindra Jadeja, with consecutive deliveries.

Finn conceded three boundaries in his 24 deliveries, one to Virat Kohli when he overpitched in his first over, and two to Raina - a clean swipe for six, back down the ground, and a rare poor delivery on the pads when he returned to the attack to start the 12th over. The rest of the time, however, his rhythm and accuracy was unrelenting, and it was his key extraction of Raina, who cut loosely to backward point in Finn's third over that was the pivotal moment of the innings. One ball later, Jadeja chopped on for a golden duck, and at 74 for 6 with eight overs remaining, India's habitual acceleration was thwarted.

It wasn't a one-man show from England's bowlers, however. Tim Bresnan bounced back from a disappointing ODI series with a second-ball strike to remove Robin Uthappa for 1, and also cut short a threatening performance from Kohli, who had moved along to a run-a-ball 15 when Alex Hales on the deep midwicket boundary pulled off an excellent running catch inches inside the rope.

Graeme Swann's struggles with the ball continued when Raina pumped him for 16 in his first over, but his captaincy was certainly on the ball. Patel fizzed through his first three overs for 13 and bowled a frustrated Manoj Tiwary when he attempted to slog his way out of a rut, while Bopara pulled off some impressive changes of pace to deliver a double-wicket maiden in the 17th over of the innings. Yusuf Pathan missed the change-up after two slower balls and was bowled; two balls later Praveen Kumar had a mow and went the same way.

MS Dhoni, inevitably, was on hand to provide some late resistance as he and Ashwin scalped 25 runs from India's final two overs, but a run-a-ball chase was always within England's grasp - even allowing for the depth of their failings on this most disappointing of one-day campaigns.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shanmugam on November 1, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    @Rajchamp, we did win the ODI series in SL in 2007-2008. At least, we last won a test series in the sub-continent in 2000-2001. India have never ever won a single test series in Australia and SA. So, you may hype India as the best ever but facts state otherwise. Also, take a look at India's record outside the sub-continent - 25 wins and 81 defeats. ROTFL.

    Cricinfo, please publish.

  • Shanmugam on November 1, 2011, 17:36 GMT

    @Rajchamp, aren't you conveniently forgetting India's 0-4 thrashing at the hands of England in the test series? Do you remember that India got pulverized by an innings and 242 runs (a margin India has never achieved in tests even against Bangladesh) at Edgbaston and then followed on and got hammered by an innings again at the Oval. Even in the other two tests, India were thrashed by 196 and 319 runs. No team, not even Bangladesh have got thrashed in a test series like this. And, India came to England as the #1 test side. LOL. England are light years ahead of India when it comes to test matches and better in T20s too. Now, #1 in two out of three formats isn't bad at all.

  • Gareth on November 1, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    @Rajchamp Talking about not winning anything on tour, remember ealier this year when England defeated India 4-0 in test series in England?? And ODIs India lost "closely fought" series 3-0. Next year in India ENGLAND MIGHT OR MIGHT NOT WIN A SINGLE GAME on tour, but I'm looking forward to the series. When was the last time India competed against any team playing outside the subcontinent?? They look totally clueless when they play outside SL/ India. They have not beaten Australia team in Australia in a test series EVER. You can hype India as much as you want, but as long as they don't win a test series outside India/SL/Pak, they will not be able to prove their supremacy in test cricket. India are nothing but a team who can perform well, in home conditions, but have absolutely no clue and cannot even compete when not playing on spin friendly pitches.

  • Mohan on November 1, 2011, 15:41 GMT

    While there is no doubt that at the moment England are the best test team - as their win/loss ration over the last 3 to 4 years is far ahead of any other team, I am not sure on what basis they have been rated as the number one T20 team. Being the world cup champion is not an appropriate criteria as then we should rate India as the number one ODI team. Given the very nature of unpredictable T20 results, the rating should be based on cummulative records over a reasonably long period of time. On that count if we see the Win-Loss records in T20 from 2005 onwards or 2008 onwards or 2009 onwards, England never achieve the best Win-Loss ratio. That credit goes to South Africa. Many a time in such comparisons, several other teams are placed ahead of England. The rating process for T20 definitely needs a review.

  • Kris on November 1, 2011, 11:54 GMT

    England won the test series 3-1 and Oz won 6-1 in the ODI series on the last tour of the former to the latter; still, whose series it's considered as?

  • Dummy4 on November 1, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    one-off T20I or even 2 T20I are a little bit unfair & alittle unpredictable becuz the winners are determined by who plays well on that particular make it more fair they should have a 3 T20I series

  • Kris on November 1, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    ODI wins never compensate test loses, in the first place. To elaborate, how much chance is there for Zim or Ireland to beat NZ or Eng in tests? It's not for no reason that tests retain their name.

  • Rajan on November 1, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    @Tim Cowell: How conviniently you forget rest of the four games when you give example of Mohali game?? Except that particular match, England were beaten comprehensively in all other ODIs. Whereas in England Chester-le-Street game was washed out when India were in strong position, Oval England won by 3 wickets, Lord's game was tied with last England batting pair at the crease. In India First ODI India won by 126 runs, 2nd ODI by 5 wickets with 13.2 overs to spare, 4th ODI by 6 wickets with 9.5 overs to spare and 5th ODI by 95 runs. Now who fought better in away series?? Even in ODI series in India, India were playing without Sachin, Sehwag, Yuvi, Zaheer, Ishant. Still they hammered England 5-0. Just shows the difference between the Quality of the two teams. India with half of their top players missing still miles better team than England which even got hammered by the Bangladesh and Ireland during World Cup LOL. England Just won one t-20 against India's second strength side.

  • Rajan on November 1, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    @A_Yorkshire_Lad:Talking about not winning anything on tour, remember 2007 when India defeated England in test series in England?? And ODIs India lost closely fought series 4-3. Next year (2008) in India ENGLAND COULD NOT WIN SINGLE GAME on tour losing test series 1-0 and ODI series 5-0. When was the last time they competed against any team playing in subcontinent?? They look totally clueless when they play in SL/ India. They have not beaten any Sub-continent team in sub-continent in a test series since 2001. (Except Bangladesh). You can hype them as much as you want, but as long as they don't win a test series in India/SL/Pak, they will not be able to prove their supremacy in test cricket. They are nothing but a team who can perform well, in home conditions, but have absolutely no clue and cannot even compete when playing on spin friendly pitches.

  • Rajan on November 1, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    @A_Yorkshire_Lad: Oh You are glad you finally managed to win a match which England could not do in India?? You think England have done something extra ordinary by beating an Indian team which was missing most of its players through injury?? Sehwag, Sachin, GG, Zaheer, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, More than half the side was injured in ODIs still there was one tie game which India would have won for sure had it been completed and also couple of other close games. What happened in ODIs in India?? May be except Mohali upto some extent, England were hammered badly in all games, they did not even compete. Their batting collapsed as soon as ball started taking turn. India can surely play fast bowling better as they have shown in previous English tours , but England collapse comically as soon as ball starts turning.

  • No featured comments at the moment.