Successful Homecoming For Dhoni As India Smash England

Successful Homecoming For Dhoni As India Smash England
Successful Homecoming For Dhoni As India Smash England
©REUTERS / Action Images

India 157-3 (Kohli 77no) beat
England 155 (Jadeja 3-19) by 7 wickets
Third One-Day International, Ranchi
Report by John Pennington

Mahendra Singh Dhoni gave his adoring hometown public in Ranchi what they, and India, wanted, by hitting the winning runs in the third One-Day International against England.

The contest was long over by the time he was given a rapturous ovation and he put the seal on a comprehensive seven-wicket victory by hitting Steven Finn through backward square as India overtook England's inadequate score of 155 in the 29th over.

Ravindra Jadeja maintained his grip over the England batsman by taking three for 19 while Ravichandran Ashwin and Ishant Sharma took two wickets apiece as the tourists batted for just 42.2 overs.

Virat Kohli then became the second youngest player to reach 4,000 ODI runs and he was there at the end, unbeaten on 77 and his welcome return to form put paid to England's chances and handed India a 2-1 series lead with two games to play.

England's top order began well enough, all making starts but then failing to go on having used up priceless time at the crease, Ian Bell (25 in 43 balls) and Joe Root (39 in 57 balls) finishing as top scorers.

Sharma had both Kevin Pietersen (17) and Root caught behind by Dhoni and Eoin Morgan's difficult tour continued when he was Ashwin's first victim for 10.

Jadeja then got rid of Craig Kieswetter and Samit Patel without scoring and went on to repeat the trick with Jade Dernbach to end the innings.

The smallest touch of respectability was added by Tim Bresnan, who also made 25, but England had patently not got anywhere near the sort of score they needed.

Although Finn bowled Ajinkya Rahane - another man badly in need of some runs - for a duck, India calmly recovered through Gautam Gambhir (33) and Kohli, who looked back to something like his best with shots all around the wicket never allowing England to build any pressure.

Gambhir fell when he chipped James Tredwell (2-29) to Root having added 77 with Kohli and Dhoni's arrival was heralded when Yuvraj Singh was bowled by Tredwell for 30, when just 12 were needed to win.

Dhoni hit 10 of them, delighting the home crowd while Kohli remained unbeaten at the other end on 77 in 79 balls including nine fours and two sixes.

The fourth match is in Mohali on 23rd January.

© Cricket World 2013

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