Finn inspires England to hammer India

Finn celebrates his five-wicket haul. (©GettyImages)

England crushed India at the Gabba as Steven Finn took career best figures of 5-33 while Ian Bell hit 88 not out as he eased Eoin Morgan’s side to a nine wicket win.

It was a complete performance by England who reached their victory target of 154 with more than 22 overs remaining as James Taylor also reached a half century, ending with an unbeaten 56.

The positives were almost endless for England as James Anderson returned to the side after injury and led from the front by taking four wickets for just 18 runs in 8.3 overs as the Lancashire seamer and Chris Woakes piled on the pressure in the opening exchanges.

It was actually India who won the toss and MS Dhoni elected to bat but it wasn’t long until Anderson struck as Shikhar Dhawan fell for just a single in the third over, caught behind by Jos Buttler.

COLLAPSE

A watchful 56-run partnership then followed between Ajinkye Rahane and Ambati Rayudu until a swift collapse left Dhoni's men stuttering at 67-5 as Finn ran through the India top order. The Middlesex man dismissed Rahane, Rayudu and superstar Virat Kohli while Moeen Ali had Suresh Raina stumped by gloveman Buttler.

The India captain was then joined by Stuart Binny as they tried to forge a partnership to give them a fighting chance in their second game of the tri-series tournament. The pair actually rescued their side but the spirit was short lived as their second collapse of the innings meant they lost their final five wickets for 16 runs.

FINN ON FIRE

Finn was once again a destroyer as he removed the dangerous Dhoni for 34, giving Buttler his fifth dismissal of the innings and he didn’t have to wait for his first five-wicket haul in ODI cricket for England. The very next ball he dislodged Axar Patel’s stumps to leave him on a hat-trick and India in real trouble at 137-7.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar survived the hat-trick ball and it was left to the returning Anderson to polish off the innings by taking three wickets for 14 balls, including top scorer Binny for 44 leaving England a modest target of 154.

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Morgan’s troops had six overs to face before the tea interval and they started with intent to finish the game off as quickly as possible with Ali the only casualty before the break as England went into the changing rooms on 41-1 with Bell and Taylor at the crease.

The pair continued their charge to victory and in truth a bonus point victory never looked in doubt as they played freely in Brisbane.

MASTERCLASS

The Warwickshire top order batsman was the first player of the match to reach 50 and he did so in a run a ball which included five boundaries while Taylor was backing him up well at the other end with England reaching 100 inside the 19th over.

The World Cup underdogs were cruising to their first victory of the tri-series after losing the opening game of the tournament to Australia,  a result which India matched on Sunday which added extra importance to the fixture.

Taylor went on to hit the winning runs as he ended with 56 from his 63 balls while Bell finished with an impressive strike rate of over 96 from his 88 runs.

The nine wicket victory leaves England in second position in the table ahead of their next match against Australia in Hobart on Friday. A victory in Tasmania would go a long way to making sure they reach the final which is to be played at the WACA on Sunday 1st February.

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