Smog and Sehwag scupper England

India England
Yuvraj Singh & Andrew Flintoff

Third time lucky: Yuvraj Singh is finally dismissed by an ecstatic Andrew Flintoff

The smog descended on Kanpur to scupper the chances of an absorbing run chase in the third one-day international, with India awarded the match by 16 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Umpires Amiesh Saheba and Russell Tiffin consulted after 40 overs and called an end to proceedings with India 198 for five, requiring 43 runs from 54 balls.

The result sees India take a 3-0 lead in the seven-match series, meaning England must win the four remaining matches to win the rubber.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was unbeaten on 29 at the close, with Yusuf Pathan 12 not out.

The contest had already been reduced to 49 overs-a-side as the morning smog in Kanpur failed to lift, delaying the start by 45 minutes.

England captain Kevin Pietersen won the toss and elected to bat in hazy conditions with a rotated batting order.

The tourists also made one change of personnel, with off-spinner Graeme Swann given his first match of the series in place of Steve Harmison.

Yet England never really got to grips with the flight and variations of Harbhajan Singh, whose masterclass of spin bowling restricted England to 240.

The Sikh off-spinner took his 200th wicket in ODIs when Owais Shah holed out to long-off for his third victim of the match.

Harbhajan, who appeared to take more pace off the ball than usual, went for only 31 runs off his 10 overs, and also removed Pietersen and Paul Collingwood.

Promoted to open the batting instead of Prior, Ravi Bopara repaid the faith shown in him by scoring a smooth 60, his highest score in ODIs. But the Essex batsman was the only batsman to combat the slow bowlers with deft touches and sweeps.

Scoring was slow until the eighth over, when Ian Bell took 12 from Munaf Patel.

Ishant Sharma was named in the India side as the third seamer ahead of RP Singh after recovering from an ankle problem, but the promising young fast bowler came in for fearful treatment in his second over.

Ravi Bopara & Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Ravi Bopara, shunted up the order to open, repays the faith placed in him with an expertly-judged 60

Sharma provided England with a free hit from the fourth ball of the 12th over as he overstepped again, and Bopara hit straight up in the air to be caught off the freebie.

From the next ball, Bell edged Sharma past Dhoni for four.

Bopara and Bell put on 79 runs for the first wicket before Bell edged Munaf behind for 46.

Pietersen, who assumed third spot from Shah, treated the arrival of Yuvraj Singh’s spin with disdain, launching the left-armer over long-on for six.

But the England captain lasted just five more balls, as he totally miscued the first ball of Harbhajan's spell.

Pietersen tried to hit him over long-on, but only succeeded in slicing the off-spinner to Zaheer Khan at extra cover.

Collingwood was also promoted two places in the batting order, but he followed suit in Harbhajan’s second over, defeated by the doosra and swiftly stumped by Dhoni for one.

Bopara’s dismissal, drawn out of his ground by Yuvraj for a well-paced 60 from 82 balls left England 133 for four.

Andrew Flintoff broke the shackles with a lofted drive over cover off Yuvraj, but he played down the wrong line to Pathan’s off-spin, and was adjudged lbw for 26.

England mustered only 21 runs from their batting powerplay, and when Shah went for 40, trying to hit out, they looked in serious trouble.

But the total was boosted by some wild bowling by Sharma. Sharma’s eventful ninth over yielded 10 runs, two of them no balls and five wides. It also saw the dismissal of Patel, caught hitting out, and Prior, yorked exposing leg stump, off consecutive balls.

The tourists were eventually bowled out for 240 two balls short of their alotted overs.

Paul Collingwood, Yusuf Pathan & MS Dhoni

Paul Collingwood's momentary wander proves fatal as Harbhajan Singh defeats him with his doosra

Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag ensured India a swift start in reply, as Stuart Broad and James Anderson strayed too much to leg-side.

Andrew Flintoff’s introduction as early as the seventh over changed the dynamic of the chase.

Gambhir’s lofted cut off Flintoff found Broad at third man, then Suresh Raina chopped on from the Nottinghamshire fast bowler, leaving India wobbling at 34 for two.

But Virender Sehwag carried on relentless - swatting then on-driving Broad off successive deliveries.

He took a particular liking to Swann and Samit Patel, and brought up his 31st ODI fifty by slog-sweeping Patel for six over midwicket.

Sehwag put on 73 for the fourth wicket with Rohit Sharma, before the 21-year-old edged a back-foot cut to wicketkeeper Matt Prior, standing up, who juggled before holding on.

Sehwag followed with the total on 125 when he drove straight to Paul Collingwood at backward point, who clung on despite appearing to believe that the ball had bounced.

Dhoni joined Yuvraj at the crease, but the prospect of the latter becoming only the fourth player to score three consecutive ODI centuries was finished.

Dhoni looked scratchy and profited from a Chinese cut to the boundary, but as long as he remained India looked favourites.

As befitted a man in the form of his life, Yuvraj looked more comfortable, swatting Swann over long-on. But he perished, top-edging the ubiquitous Flintoff to Broad at deep square-leg.

Dhoni looked content to bat for the light, which was duly awarded at 4.39pm local time.

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