India restricted to 120 on slow wicket
India produced an ordinary batting performance to be restricted to 120 for nine by England in the lone Twenty20 match here on Saturday.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to bat first at a slowish Eden Gardens pitch backfired, as barring Suresh Raina (39) and the skipper (21) himself, no other batsmen could post a challenge before the determined English attack.
Virat Kolhi and Manoj Tiwary made an identical 15, and towards the end, R. Ashwin (17) played a cameo to help the home team’s cause.
Right—arm pacer Steven Finn, who impressed in the just—concluded ODI series, was the pick of the English bowlers with figures of three for 22, while Tim Bresnan (2/19) and part—timer Ravi Bopara (2/16) gave him the perfect support from the other end.
In a quest for their first win of the India tour, England, who were drubbed 0—5 in the ODI series, came out with purpose and the visiting bowlers struck early to unsettle the India batting line—up.
Opting to bat, India witnessed a disastrous start losing both the openers cheaply.
Having waited in the sidelines for more than three years, Robin Uthappa’s comeback match turned out to be a nightmare, as sent in as a opener, he could manage only one.
Uthappa’s opening partner, Ajinkya Rahane, who shone with the bat in England as well as in the ODI series at home, too did not last long and fell for a duck.
Uthappa was caught unawares by a rising Bresnan delivery, while Mumbai youngster Rahane disappointed with poor shot selection against Finn as both were dismissed caught behind.
In need of a partnership with the scorecard reading five for two, in—form Virat Kohli looked in fine nick as he began the repair work with vice—captain Raina.
Kohli, who was the Indian top—scorer in the ODI series against England, looked in an ominous mood before Bresnan cut short his innings, brilliantly caught by a running Alex Hales.
But Raina, in debutant Manoj Tiwary’s company, then started to resurrect the Indian innings with a 40—run fourth wicket stand before the former was cleaned up by left—arm spinner Samit Patel.
Finn then removed a dangerous—looking Raina and scalped Ravindra Jadeja in two successive balls to leave the hosts tottering at 74 for six.
India once again banked on Dhoni to marshal the sinking ship, but the captain became a mute spectator at the non—striking end when Bopara took two wickets in Yusuf Pathan (10) and Praveen Kumar to add to the home team’s misery.
At 91 for eight, India looked in danger of being bowled inside 100, but R Ashwin (17) played a nice cameo in Dhoni’s company to take the score to the 120—mark.
India:
Robin Uthappa c Kieswetter b Bresnan 1
Ajinkya Rahane c Kieswetter b Finn 0
Virat Kohli c Hales b Bresnan 15
Suresh Raina c Bairstow b Finn 39
Manoj Tiwary b Patel 15
M S Dhoni run out (Dernbach) 21
Ravindra Jadeja b Finn 0
Yusuf Pathan b Bopara 10
Praveen Kumar b Bopara 0
R Ashwin not out 17
Extras (LB 1, W 1) 2
Total (for 9 wickets in 20 overs) 120
Fall of wickets: 1—1, 2—5, 3—26, 4—66, 5—74, 6—74, 7—91, 8—91, 9—120
Bowling:StevenFinn 4—0—22—3, Tim Bresnan 4—1—19—2, Jade Dernbach 4—0—26—0, Samit Patel 3—0—13—1, Graeme Swann 2—0—23—0, Ravi Bopara 3—1—16—2.

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