James Rew’s 95 in vain while Shaik Rasheed, Nishant Sindhu shine with the bat for India
India 195 for 6 (Sindhu 50*, Rasheed 50, Boyden 2-24) beat England 189 all out (Rew 95, Bawa 5-31, Ravi 3-34) by four wickets
England’s troubles started early when Ravi found movement in the morning, assisted in part by overnight rain in Antigua. He had Jacob Bethell lbw with a full ball in the second over and then had Prest chopping an attempted pull onto his stumps.
George Thomas, who scored a half-century in the semi-final against Afghanistan, attacked right-arm seamer Rajvardhan Hangargekar from the other end, smacking him for a 16-run over, only to fall for 27 off 30 when Bawa came on as first change. Bawa pitched the ball up, and Thomas tried to mow one across the line only to miscue a skier to cover.
Rew and William Luxton were left with the task of starting England’s recovery, but they could last only 16 balls together as Bawa struck twice in consecutive deliveries. He found extra bounce with a wide-ish ball, and Luxton went chasing only to edge it to the wicketkeeper Dinesh Bana. George Bell was gone for a duck when Bawa welcomed him with a short ball, and all he could do was glove it to Bana trying to block off the back foot. From 45 for 5, England were soon 91 for 7 following the wickets of Rehan Ahmed, caught at slip off Bawa, and Alex Horton, who dragged offspinner Kaushal Tambe to midwicket.
But on 95, Rew pulled a harmless Ravi delivery to a fumbling, tumbling, juggling Tambe at deep midwicket before Thomas Aspinwall became Ravi’s fourth victim three balls later. From the other end, Bawa combined with Bana once more to secure his five-wicket haul, and England left 31 balls unused, all out for 189 in 44.5 overs.
The consistent left-arm swing bowler Josh Boyden lifted England early in the chase when he had the in-form Angkrish Raghuvanshi caught behind for a duck, but neither Boyden nor the other seamers could make further breakthroughs despite accumulating dot balls. With Harnoor Singh and Rasheed happy to bide their time, it was a waiting game for England as they looked for the error. That finally came in the 18th over, with the score at 49 for 1, when Harnoor gloved a short ball from Aspinwall to the keeper.
That brought the captain Yash Dhull together with his vice-captain Rasheed. They had put on a double-century stand in the semi-final against Australia and looked to attack England’s spinners. Rasheed used his wrists to flick off his pads and stood tall to crunch cuts and drives through the off side.
Rasheed moved to fifty in the 27th over, but fell moments after, caught on the leg side after a wild heave off Sales. The same bowler then removed Dhull for 17 to give England a glimmer of hope as India lost their fourth wicket with the score on 97.
Sindhu and Bawa, though, counterattacked. Bawa hit two sixes and one four while Sindhu went over cover and midwicket. Two catches inside the ring sent Bawa and Tambe packing before India could get over the line, and there were enough runs left for Sindhu to reach his half-century.
He got to fifty in 54 balls, after which Bana wasted no time in finishing the contest. The first six went over deep square leg. The second one soared over long-on, and even before it landed, the camera panned towards the India players running in to celebrate.
Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx