BRISBANE: Pacemen Steven Finn produced a career-best performance to lead England to a nine-wicket thrashing of India in both countries’ second outing in a triangular one-day series in Brisbane on Tuesday.
India’s decision to bat first backfired when they were dismissed for just 153 in 39.3 overs in the one-day international, with Finn exploiting the Gabba’s pace and bounce to claim five wickets for 33.
In reply, England cruised to victory in just 27.3 overs giving them a much-needed confidence boost ahead of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand that kicks off next month.
Their recent one-day form has been very poor, but they were never stretched with the bat as they finished on 156 for one, with opener Ian Bell unbeaten on 88 and James Taylor on 56 as they notched their first win under new captain Eoin Morgan.
Stuart Binny, who top-scored for India with 44 in his return to the side, claimed the only wicket to fall, that of opener Moeen Ali for eight.
After losing to Australia on Sunday, the Indian batsmen struggled to cope with the lively wicket.
Finn, on the other hand, made the most of it to claim his first five-wicket haul in 49 one-day internationals, including a number of prized Indian scalps.
He did most of his damage to the top order, as India lost their way after being in a sound position at 57-1.
Seamer James Anderson, returning to the English side after injury, claimed the first wicket, removing the struggling Shikhar Dhawan for one, before Ajinkya Rahane and Ambati Rayudu steadied the Indian cause with a 56-run stand.
The fall of Rahane, caught by Taylor from the bowling of Finn on 33, sparked the first of two collapses during the innings.
Finn then claimed Rayudu, who scored 23, and Virat Kohli, who managed just four, as India slumped to 67 for five.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the recalled Binny put on 70 to revive India’s hopes briefly, before Finn again struck twice in quick succession to turn the match.
He had Dhoni caught behind by Jos Buttler on 34, the wicketkeeper’s fifth dismissal of the innings, and India folded, losing their last five wickets for just 16 runs.
Finn picked up his fifth scalp when he bowled Axar Patel for nought.
Anderson ran through the tail to finish with impressive figures of four for 18 from 8.3 overs. (AFP)