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Bell guides England to easy win over India

England strolled to a 9-wicket win over India in the third match of the Carlton Mid Tri-series at the Gabba in Brisbane. Chasing 154, Ian Bell and James Taylor made light work of the Indian bowling, coasting to the target with over 22 overs to spare. There was hardly any joy for the Indian bowlers as they picked up just the one wicket — Stuart Binny getting rid of Moeen Ali in the third over of the English chase.

Led by Bell, who scored a 91-ball 88, England never looked in any danger against an Indian attack that once again, looked far from convincing. Umesh Yadav was his erratic self, giving away more than 40 runs in his six overs. Binny and Patel were the only two bowlers who looked even minutely menacing. Bell was ably supported by Taylor, who scored an impressive 63-ball 56, which included four boundaries.

Earlier in the day, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat first. Shikhar Dhawan’s batting woes continued as he made yet another early exit, this time falling to James Anderson. Ajinkya Rahane and Ambati Rayadu — filling in for the injured Rohit Sharma — steadied the Indian ship after his early dismissal. But they found themselves tottering at 67-5, thanks to some atrocious shot selection from the Indian middle-order. A 70-run partnership between Binny and Dhoni saw India temporarily rebuild, but the Indian skipper’s dismissal erased any hopes of India crossing the 200-run mark. In the end, they managed just 153, with Binny top scoring with a gutsy 44.

For England, Steven Finn and Anderson did most of the damage. Finn picked up a career best of 5 for 33. After removing Dhawan early, Anderson then ran through the Indian tail, ending up with figures of 4 for 18. The Indian batsmen struggled against the pace and guile of the England attack, barely getting going. For two successive matches now, the Indian batting has failed to fire. Dhoni has a lot to ponder over before India’s next match against Australia in Sydney on Monday.

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