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Thursday, November 20, 2008

India take 3-0 lead by beating England via D/L method

India overcame a wobbly start and some anxious moments before beating England by 16 runs via Duckworth-Lewis method in a closely-contested third cricket one-dayer to take a comfortable 3-0 lead in the seven-match series here on Thursday.

Chasing 241 for a victory, the hosts were less dominating but were conscious of the Duckworth-Lewis requirement as they scored 198 for five in 40 overs before fading light necessitated an early end to the game.

India needed to score 183 for five in 40 overs under the D/L method and were declared the winners when bad light came into play.

For the hosts, Virender Sehwag topscored with 68, while Yuvraj Singh scored a brisk 38 off just 31 balls. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni remained unbeaten on 29 to steer the team to victory in a more keenly contested tussle at the Green Park stadium.

After the early morning haze delayed the start and reduced the tie to a 49-overs-a-side affair, England captain Kevin Pietersen won the toss and had little hesitation in opting to bat first.

India now need to win the next match in Bangalore on Sunday to clinch the series by taking an unassailable 4-0 lead.

A rejigged batting order saw Ravi Bopara (60) walking out to open with Ian Bell (46) and the openers put on 79 runs before England lost the plot in the face of some disciplined bowling by the Indians and folded for 240 in 48.4 overs.

For India, Harbhajan Singh stood out, scalping three for 31, joining the 200 ODI wicket club in the process.

For the home team's in-form and awe-inspiring batting order, the target of 241 should have been a stroll in the park. However small the target, they still needed to score those runs but a jittery start jolted them out of complacency.

A reckless Gautam Gambhir (14) and Suresh Raina (1) perished in quick succession and for India, reduced to 34 for two inside 10 overs, the chase for a modest target wasn't a cakewalk anymore.

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