India beat England by 23 runs in 3rd ODI

India defeated England by 23 runs in the third and final NatWest Challenge one-day cricket international at Lord's.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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The Indian team ended their five-match losing streak with a thrilling 23-run victory over England in the third and final Natwest Challenge one-day cricket international. India, however have lost the series to England 2-1 but go into the ICC Championships with a renewed sense of confidence. Indian captain Sourav Ganguly was declared Man of the Match, while Stephen Harmison was the Man of the Series. After being bundled out for a modest 204, Sourav Ganguly's men rediscovered their familiar nerve in the face of adversity to snuff England out for 181 in 48.2 overs for a morale boosting win. Young wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik lost and reinvented his fledgling career in the same day as he dropped Michael Vaughan on 36 and then produced an out of the world stumping to dismiss the England captain in the nerve-wracking closing stages. Vaughan's piece de resistance, 74 off 141 balls with eight fours and a 92-run seventh-wicket partnership with Ashley Giles (39), looked set to lead England to a white-wash of the Indians but Ganguly's men were not be denied this day. England batting flounders The English batting that had given the Indian bowling a hiding in the previous two games floundered against some inspired seam bowling and the mesmerising off-spin of Harbhajan Singh. The Turbanator finished with three for 28 while Ashish Nehra scalped three for 26. The Indians, reeling under a string of losses beginning with the defeat to Pakistan in a Super League match of the Asia Cup in July, rung in changes and shuffled their batting order. Captain's knock Earlier, a captain's knock by Sourav Ganguly failed to inspire India to a formidable total after the batsmen faltered once again. Ganguly and vice captain Rahul Dravid, who overcame his scratchy form and hit a 91-ball 52, were the only batsmen to reach double digit scores. Steve Harmison picked four for 22 and Darren Gough claimed his 200th wicket in one-day internationals when he had Harbhajan Singh caught by Michael Vaughan in the 45th over. The Indians, reeling under a string of defeats beginning with the loss to Pakistan in a Super League match of the Asia Cup in July and the injury-induced absence of Sachin Tendulkar, rung in changes and shuffled their batting order. Dravid was relieved of the wicketkeeping duties and the 19-year old Karthik was handed his India cap. Disappointing line Virender Sehwag was pushed down to number four and VVS Laxman moved up to open the innings but two, put together, could only make 10 runs. Laxmipathy Balaji, Ajit Agarkar and Rohan Gavaskar made way for Ashish Nehra, Anil Kumble and debutant Karthik. Mohammad Kaif also batted at an unusual position, number three, but made no contribution worth mentioning. For Laxman, it was a forgettable outing. For once the stylish opener's bat didn't make a sweet sound from the 27 balls he faced for his nine runs before a Steve Harmison yorker pegged back his off-stump. Early exits Yuvraj Singh (9) flicked Alex Wharf into the hands of fielder at square leg fence and young Karthik made only one from 12 balls before edging Harmison behind the stumps. Harbhajan's straight bat couldn't cover the swing in Goughs delivery and an easy catch went to point. Dravid then became Harmisons fourth wicket when he cut straight to point -- India at this stage had lost three wickets for three runs. India's score appeared twice the size as England quickly reeled at 29 for four with the wickets shared between them by the left-arm pacemen Ashish Nehra and Irfan Pathan. And then two brilliant efforts in the field reduced the hosts to 62 for 6. Mohammad Kaif got rid of Paul Collingwood when he intercepted a flick at forward short leg and flung it back to wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthick to get rid of him at four. Virender Sehwag then dived full length forward to claim Gerraint Jones (11) at mid-off against Harbhajan Singh. The team was picked off its bootlaces by Vaughan and Giles who put on 92 runs from 145 balls for the seventh wicket before both were claimed by Harbhajan Singh in his last over. First Giles gave a return catch to the bowler and then Vaughan was stumped a long way down the wicket by young Karthik to end England's last hopes. (PTI)