Cook devastated as England fall at final hurdle

Julian Harris
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ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook admitted last night that his team was devastated after letting slip the chance to win their first ever 50-over tournament.

India won the ICC Champions Trophy at Edgbaston by limiting England to 124-8, five short of the visitors’ 129-7 on a rain-disturbed day that saw both innings restricted to 20 overs.

“The 130 – you’d take that to chase but it’s probably a slightly harder wicket to bat than we thought. It’s tough to take at the moment,” Cook said.

“We were almost there – 20 [runs] needed off 16 balls left, it was in our hands. At the moment we’re a bit devastated – but we can move on as a side and try to get better.”

The absence of maverick batsman Kevin Pietersen was notable, with England’s top four scoring just 42 runs combined. Earlier in the day at Yorkshire, Pietersen marked his comeback from injury with a knock of 177 not out for Surrey.

Yet England started well yesterday, despite a farcical early over-throw from Tim Bresnan that gifted India four runs. With just six overs to go MS Dhoni’s team found themselves on 67-5.

India rallied, however, with eight more boundaries helping them to a total of 129, during which Virat Kohli hit 43 before losing his wicket.

England struggled with the spin, losing four wickets with just 46 runs on the board, as Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin got the ball to turn. Nonetheless, Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara appeared set for an heroic stand, putting on over half a century before both fell suddenly to Ishant Sharma in the 18th over, an agonising 20 runs from victory.

Two more wickets fell before James Tredwell was left needing an unlikely six from the final ball, which he swung at but missed.