February 28th, 2011 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   Comments Off on INDIA ENGLAND MATCH TIED
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Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar

Zaheer Khan bowled exceptionally well and helped India snatch a point from England after a pathetic display from Indian bowlers and fielders led to team’s failure in defending a huge target of 338 as the Group B match ended in a tie at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium at Bangalore on Sunday.

Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat on Sunday in front of a packed  stadium against England in their second World Cup fixture. Sachin Tendulkar delighted the spectators there and millions watching all over the world, with his five sixes and struck his 47th ODI century. This was his 98th century in International cricket.

When Sehwag was going great guns, Sachin was suppporting him with calm and ease and almost stood there watching Sehwag score. Sehwag got 35 runs though he could have been out twice during this period.

England made the early breakthrough, when Sehwag edged a ball from Tim Bresnan which landed safely in  Matt Prior’s gloves. The Chinnaswamy Stadium immediately descended into the sort of silence. Sehwag tried to guide a short ball down to third-man but did not get quite enough bat on it and was well-caught by a diving Matt Prior.

Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss

Then Sachin covered his ground in his stand with Gautam Gambhir and also hit two consecutive sixes off Swan which brought the entire stadium into ecstasy. Sachin slammed five sixes and ten fours in what can be termed as one of his best ODI centuries.

Gambhir was aggressive in his approach and diverted England’s attention whereas Tendulkar’s  approach began to reap its rewards. He had reached 28 from 47 balls before he changed his bat to a heavier bat and having hit Swann back over his head for four, he turned to destruct the bowling of Paul Collingwood.

Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni took England bowlers on after Sachin Tendulkar’s departure but England pulled things back a little bit by removing Yuvraj and Dhoni in successive balls.

Even so, Yuvraj had added his team’s third half-century from only 46 balls and shared a stand of 69 with his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to help plunder 91 in the last 10 overs.

First to go was Dhoni, who while trying to hit a six on midwicket boundary, picked out the substitute Luke Wright. Thereafter, Yusuf Pathan, Virat Kohli and Harbhajan Singh were all dispatched in the space of four deliveries, courtesy of a slower ball and two yorkers. Consecutive run-outs then followed in Anderson’s final over.

Anderson had the worst bowling figures or we can say England’s most expensive World Cup figures of 9.5-0-91-1.

Later, England skipper Andrew Strauss hit a captain’s knock of 158 off 145 balls, which set the tone for England’s chase.

Strauss and Kevin Pietersen came out with an aggressive intent to kick off England innings after their bowlers were hammered by Indian batsmen

Munaf Patel, who pulled out a stunning reflex catch off his own bowling, sent back Pietersen at the personal score of 31 runs. Jonathan Trott, who could only score 16 runs and fell lbw to Piyush Chawla.

But right when the 170-run stand looked to take the match away from India, Strauss chose to take the batting powerplay in which India took four wickets for just 25 runs.

That proved to be the turning point of the match as Zaheer Khan bowled a magnificent spell to dismiss  Strauss, Bell (69) and Paul Collingwood (1).

Wickets continued to tumble until Tim Bresnan (14) hit Chawla for two sixes to bring the match in balance; however, Chawla bowled him out in the same over.

Needing 14 runs off the last Munaf Patel over, Ajmal Shahzad hit a six out of nowhere to stun the crowd into silence. Two runs were needed from the last ball, off which Swann could hit only one run, which ended the match in a tie.

Munaf Patel and Piyush Chawla took two wickets each but gave away 70 and 71 runs respectively.

However, India’s performance in the field and bowlers’ failure to defend such a big total put serious question marks over India’s ‘favourites’ tag in this World Cup. Even Zaheer Khan, who was the most successful Indian bowler with four wickets, went for 64 runs.

Andrew Strauss was adjudged the Man of the Match.

If India is not able to defend a huge total of 338 runs, they cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be expected to lift the World Cup 2011. They are desperately in need of  a genuine fast bowler to meet the challanges of this tournament.

India play their next match against Ireland on 6th of March.

Ravi Matah

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