England choke in Champions Trophy

  • Getty Images

Given the opportunity to win their first Champions Trophy, England contrived to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Facing India in a final where the overs had been reduced to 20 a side, England had restricted the opposition to an unimpressive total of 129 and were on the brink of overhauling it when their batsmen had a collective fit of self-destruction.

After a frustrating day at Edgbaston waiting for the rain to relent, India had batted frantically and erratically. When Ravi Bopara collected the key wickets of Raina and Dhoni, it seemed that India were in trouble. Kohli and Jadeja put together a decent partnership to salvage the innings, but their total of 129 seemed eminently beatable.

With Alastair Cook out in the second over, England's highest scoring batsman in the competition Jonathan Trott made a swift 20 to get England underway, but when he and Joe Root quickly fell and a controversial stumping decision removed Ian Bell, England came under pressure.

An impressive partnership from Eoin Morgan and Bopara put England within tantalising reach of victory needing just 20 runs from 15 balls. Both tried to take advantage of some loose bowling from Ishant Sharma, and both fell, in consecutive balls. When Tim Bresnan and Jos Buttler fell quickly the game was up. England ended five runs short. It won't have helped their mood to know that they gave India that many runs in overthrows during their opponents' innings.

Cook said it was the lowest point in his captaincy. "It's a tough place to be at the moment," he said, "but we will look at it when the emotion's out of it and we'll build again for 2015, the next global tournament."

It remains to be seen whether the defeat will have an impact on morale for those players heading for the Ashes Tests. "We've got to recharge our batteries now and prepare ourselves to make sure we hit the ground running at Trent Bridge," Cook said. In the meantime, the Australian preparations for the Ashes were further disrupted by the sacking of their coach Mickey Arthur.

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2020