India win Champions Trophy in Twenty20 style

Birmingham, June 24 (IANS) India beat England by five runs in a thrilling but rain marred final that was reduced to a 20-over-affair to win the Champions Trophy outrightly at Edgbaston here Sunday.

Chasing a modest total of 129, India held their nerve as England lost four wickets and managed 124 for eight in 20 overs.

It was pacer Ishant Sharma (2/36), who turned the match on its head, by getting rid of Eoin Morgan (33) and Ravi Bopara (30) in consecutive deliveries after the duo threatened to take away the match from India with their crucial 64-run stand.

The double strikes from Ishant in the 18th over, left England at 110 for six. The hosts needed another 20 runs to win from 14 balls. It proved too much for England, who lost their nerve and again lost a chance to lift a major 50-over title.

India, who shared the title in 2002 with Sri Lanka, finally bagged Champions Trophy title in their third final appearance. The win was also a perfect way to commemorate India's 30 years of 1983 World Cup winning triumph (June 25).

The agonising six hours of wait for the start of the match was worth it as India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who also led the team to triumph on 2007 World Twenty20 and the 2011 World Cup win, lifted the last edition of the Champions Trophy.

On a day when rain played havoc, the Indian batting was tested for the first time in the tournament but in the end the bowlers did their bit.

Virat Kohli top scored with 43 and Ravindra Jadeja, came up with a cameo of unbeaten 35 off 25 balls as India made 129 for seven in 20 overs. They came up with a valuable of 47 off 33 after India were left struggling at 66/5. Opener Shikhar Dhawan also struck a crucial 31.

While defending, the spinners Ravichandran Ashwin (2/15) and Jadeja (2/24) purchased good turn from the track to remove the English top-order that left them struggling at 46 for four in the ninth over.

Jadeja was adjudged as Man of the Match for his all-round performance and also got the golden ball for being the highest wicket-taker.

Umesh Yadav gave India the first breakthrough after he forced Alastair Cook (2) to guide to Ashwin to slip. Ashwin then struck in his consecutive overs to get rid of Jonathan Trott (20) and Joe Root (2).

Ian Bell (13) got a raw deal by third umpire Bruce Oxenford after he was adjudged stumped off Jadeja despite TV replays being inconclusive.

But it was the 18th over from Ishant Sharma that swung back the momentum for India. While Morgan and Bopara departed in Ishant's two consecutive balls playing loose shots, Jos Butler and new dad Tim Bresnan (2) couldn't take the pressure.

Earlier, England found an unlikely hero in Bopara who rattled the Indian top-order with three for 20. Dhawan became Bopara's first victim caught by James Tredwell at extra cover.

The wicket triggered a batting collapse and Bopara was suddenly on fire as he also picked up Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni that left India struggling at 66 for five.

But it was the solid partnership of 47 off 33 between Kohli andA Jadeja that rescued India from 66/5 and helped them reach a fighting chance.

Kohli's 43 came off 34 with four fours and a six while Jadeja hit two fours and a six in his 25-ball cameo.

They batted cleverly and took the batting Powerplay in the 16th over, and scored 20 runs off those two overs that took them to 106 in 17 overs.

In the next over, Kolhi got a lifeline as he was dropped by Jonathan Trott, but James Anderson had him caught at long-off. Jadeja kept up the fight with the powerful hitting.

India came into the tournament with the game's image having taken a serious beating back home with the IPL spot fixing and betting scandal. Now they leave England with head held high and having done enough to win back the faith of the fans.

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