England batsmen flop again

England's batsmen failed for the second match in a row as they were bundled out for just 155 in the third one-day international against India.

The first ever international match in Ranchi, the home city of India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, was proving much to the hosts' liking at the halfway stage, with England losing regular wickets in momentum-sapping clusters.

Dhoni chose to send England in and was rewarded by his bowlers, who reduced England to 98 for six after a slow start and finished the job with 7.4 overs remaining. Joe Root's 39 was the best England managed as they made three fewer than their previous losing effort in Kochi.

The first four overs cost just seven as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed bowled with good control in friendly conditions. India struck in the eighth over, Alastair Cook pinned lbw for 17 by the nagging Kumar, and at the end of the 10-over powerplay England were struggling at 36 for one.

Kevin Pietersen had successfully upped the scoring rate with 17 from 20 balls but he was a little loose outside off and paid the price when Ishant Sharma had him caught behind. Replays suggest Pietersen may have been unlucky, but his exaggerated reaction and slow exit will not have pleased the officials.

A score of 68 for two became 68 for three when Ian Bell nicked the returning Kumar and Dhoni held on to a sharp chance standing up to the stumps. Eoin Morgan took some of the sting out of the situation in a 30-ball stay, but had only added 10 when he botched a reverse sweep against Ravichandran Ashwin and offered a dolly to Yuvraj Singh.

Root had seemed composed at the other end but he could do nothing about England's woeful position when Craig Kieswetter and Samit Patel fell to Ravindra Jadeja within seconds of each other. Both made ducks and both failed to pick Jadeja's arm ball as India snared three wickets in nine balls.

Root and Tim Bresnan worked hard to muster a total worth bowling at, adding 47 for the seventh wicket before the batting powerplay accounted for both. But Root again served notice of his cool head, hitting four boundaries and lasting 57 deliveries before nicking Sharma to the tumbling Dhoni.

Again one wicket brought two, Bresnan gone four balls later for 25 as Ashwin got one to turn unusually sharply between pat and pad.

England reached the last 10 overs at 152 for eight having added just 20 from the powerplay, and harboured no real prospects of reaching the 50-over mark. Indeed, just three more runs were added as Suresh Raina and Jadeja mopped up Steven Finn and Jade Dernbach with minimal fuss.


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