After South Africa, England must be awarded the ‘chokers’ title for what they did in the final of 2013 Champions Trophy. Having collapsed Indian batting line-up for the fist time in the tournament, they imploded at a time when they were just a few runs away form the victory. England reached the final of Champions Trophy for five times and today was the day when they were poised to lift the title. But a late comeback by India snatched the win from their clutches and culminated into a five-wicket loss for the hosts.

[caption id="attachment_1750" align="alignright" width="300"]India proved that they are real ODI number one team (Photo: AFP) India proved that they are real ODI number one team (Photo: AFP)[/caption]

The win has made MS Dhoni the first captain of the history to claim all ICC tournaments: An ODI World Cup, a World T20, first rank in both Test and one-day formats, two Indian Premier League titles, a Champions League T20 title, and now the Champions Trophy. He is undoubtedly the king of the cricket world, having nerves of steel.

Today was a great day in Birmingham but rain and mismanagement by the ICC spoiled it thoroughly.  Thousands of fans in the stadium and millions of them worldwide kept on waiting for the match until the ODI was limited to a Twenty20, and that too after the match was provided with 75 additional minutes. The biggest proof of the council’s mismanagement was that they did not allocate a spare day for the final, let alone group matches. That means had the match been abandoned because of the inclement weather, the tournament’s title would have been shared by both teams.

England put India into bat after winning the toss and for the first time the visiting batsmen found themselves in trouble. India were 50 for one when Ravi Bopara turned the tables. At first he claimed almost impregnable wicket of Shikhar Dhawan and then dismissed Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni, leaving India reeling. In between the loss of these three wickets, James Tredwell sent packing Dinesh Karthik and India lost four wickets for just 16 additional runs with just seven overs left in their innings.

Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja played came forward to play responsible innings at the stage and added 47 runs in almost five years, guiding India to a somewhat defendable target. Kohli was dismissed by James Anderson in the 19th over after scoring 43 off 34, including a six and four fours.

Kohli’s dismissal did not affect the flow of runs as Jadeja kept the momentum going. He helped India amass 129-run total with his unbeaten 33 off 25.

English bowlers fully exploited the conditions. Bopara remained most prominent, taking three wickets for just 20 runs in four overs. Anderson, Broad and Tredwell took one wicket apiece.

England’s start was quite disappointing. From the very outset they were playing as if the target was 230 instead of 130 which was clear proof of their poor shot selection. Cook played a cut shot when two fielders were standing in the slips, giving catch to Ashwin in the first slip. Jonathan Trott was looking confident but lost his balance in playing an almost wide ball, prompting Dhoni to swiftly break the wickets. England lost his most key player on just 28.

It was high time that a batsman played long innings for England, but young Joe Root’s adventurism cost him his wicket. He gave away catch to Ishant Sharma in trying to pull Ashwin on backfoot. Ian Bell’s presence at the time was a sign of strength for the hosts, but his dismissal can only be regarded as misfortune. Bell was denied the benefit of doubt which, according to law, should be given to batsman. Dejected and surprised, he returned to the pavilion. England were now 46 for four.

[caption id="attachment_1751" align="alignright" width="231"]Turning point: Having remained zero throughout the match, Ishant Sharma became hero in just two balls (Photo: Getty Images) Turning point: Having remained zero throughout the match, Ishant Sharma became hero in just two balls (Photo: Getty Images)[/caption]

Then came Bopara, who, along with Eoin Morgan, gave his team what it was craving for – a good partnership. They both took England to the 17th over when they only needed another 28 runs to win.

Indian fans in the stadium were in complete silence and disappointment was evident on Dhoni’s face. Dhoni gave ball to Sharma to bowl the first over of the powerplay despite his failure in his first three overs. After failing to utilise the first ball, Morgan hit the second ball to six. It seemed Sharma lost his footing as bowled the next two balls wide. Now only 20 runs were required on 16 balls. Sharma, who had been a punchbag on Twitter by Indian fans, became hero in just two balls, thanks to the sheer lunacy of English batsmen. Morgan and Bopara lost back-to-back wickets, leaving England in danger of collapsing. In the next over Jadeja clean bowled Jos Buttler, and a ball later, Tim Bresnan was run out. The match reached a stage when England required a six on the last ball, which was surely out of question as James Tredwell was the batsman.

Although the match was an epitome of mismanagement, there’s no denying that the team who deserved lifted the title fully deserved it. From their arrival in England to the final of the tournament, they remained unbeaten and proved it once again that they were number one team.

Shikhar Dhawan and Ravindra Jadeja were awarded “Golden Bat” and “Golden Ball” awards, respectively, for their riveting performances in the event. Jadeja was also given the man-of-the-match award.

Now England will shortly play two T20s against New Zealand, while India will leave for West Indies to play a tri-series, including Sri Lanka apart from the hosts.

England vs India

Champions Trophy 2013, Final

June 23, 2013

Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham

Result: India won by 5 runs

Man of the match: Ravindra Jadeja

Men of the series: Shikhar Dhawan (Golden Bat), Ravindra Jadeja (Golden Ball)

Rohit Sharmab Broad91410
Shikhar Dhawanc Tredwell b Bopara312421
Virat Kohlic Bopara b Anderson433441
Dinesh Karthikc Morgan b Tredwell61100
Suresh Rainac Cook b Bopara1600
MS Dhonic Tredwell b Bopara0400
Ravindra Jadejanot out332522
Ravichandran Ashwinrun out (Bell)1100
Bhuvneshwar Kumarnot out1100
Extras(wides 4)4
Total(7 wickets; 20 overs)129


England (bowling)OversMaidensRunsWickets
James Anderson40241
Staurt Broad40261
Tim Bresnan40340
James Tredwell40251
Ravi Bopara41203


انگلستانTarget: 130 runs (20 overs)RunsBalls4s6s
Alastair Cookc Ashwin b Yadav2900
Ian Bellst Dhoni b Jadeja131610
Jonathan Trottst Dhoni b Ashwin201720
Joe Rootc I Sharma b Ashwin7900
Eoin Morganc Ashwin b I Sharma333031
Ravi Boparac Ashwin b I Sharma302502
Jos Butlerb Jadeja0100
Tim Bresnanrun out (RG Sharma/Dhoni)2400
Stuart Broadnot out7510
James Tredwellnot out5400
Extras(leg-bye 1, wides 4)5
Total(8 wickets; 20 overs)124


India (bowling)OversMaidensRunsWickets
Bhuvneshwar Kumar30190
Umesh Yadav20101
Ravindra Jadeja40242
Ravichandran Ashwin41152
Ishant Sharma40362
Suresh Raina30190

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