James Taylor and Jos Buttler led England to the tri-series final after beating India by three wickets on a lively pitch in Perth.
The pair were facing an uphill task at 66-5 after a top order collapse left them stuttering with the WACA wicket producing uneven bounce but Taylor and Buttler batted with great maturity with their 125-run partnership effectively winning the game for England.
However, neither men managed to see the innings through to their target of 201 so it was left to Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes to finish the job off and take England into the final against Australia.
Captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and opted to field, a decision that seemed to have backfired when India had moved onto 83 without loss at the start of the 20th over. However, that soon changed as their 10 wickets fell for 117 runs to leave them all out for 200 at the WACA.
That platform was set by a fantastic display with the ball where only five bowlers were used by Morgan with each one chipping in with crucial wickets as Steven Finn once again the most successful bowler. The Middlesex giant took the wickets of top scorer Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny and Axar Patel to finish with figures of three for 36 off his 10 overs.
Woakes, Broad and Moeen Ali all took two wickets each as James Anderson was the most economical with his one wicket coming at the cost of just 24 runs in his nine overs as India were dismissed for 200 off 48.1 overs.
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The run chase wasn’t as simple as it may have looked on paper with only four runs an over needed but the pitch was bowler friendly which was highlighted when India’s spinner Axar Patel leapt off a good length and hit Morgan on the gloves while Ian Bell fell lbw for 10 to a ball that didn’t bounce.
The Warwickshire man was the first wicket to fall which brought Taylor to the crease in the fourth over who was extremely scratchy at the start of his innings as he struggled to put runs on the board.
Ali then chipped Patel down the ground to be caught in the outfield before Joe Root, Morgan and Ravi Bopara soon followed with India taking the upper hand at the 20 over mark.
With England’s batting line-up there is always hope as the impressive Buttler joined Taylor who was starting to get to grips with his innings and the pair then built the highest partnership of the match with them both passing 50 in the process.
Only 10 runs were needed when Man of the Match Taylor played the ball straight down the throat of Binny at fine-leg to depart for 82 and two runs later Buttler was then caught in the deep for 67 which left Woakes and Broad to finish off the job which they did with over three overs remaining.
England will now face the hosts Australia in Sunday’s final at the WACA and the tourists will be hoping some maintenance work will be done on the wicket which will be the same one used in today’s ‘semi-final’.
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