Resurgent India thrash England

Coming into Headingley things seemingly could not get much worse for India. Having gone 3-1 down in a 7 game series to a side who’ve not won a home ODI series since 2004, the Indians were under intense pressure to keep this series alive. They succeeded emphatically. All of the top four for the tourists scored half centuries as the side racked up 324 snd bowlers ensured England were never really in with a chance during a rain affected chase.

India’s two most experienced players, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, needed to deliver. Both did, putting on 119 for the first wicket. Tendulkar was the early aggressor, striking 13 boundaries in his 59 ball 71 before edging Jon Lewis to Matt Prior behind the stumps. Ganguly took a bit longer to get going, scoring just 4 off his first 25 deliveries. However, he soon picked up the pace and his 59 included two big sixes – the first straight off Collingwood and the latter a huge swipe that sent Lewis’ medium paced dobber over midwicket.

Ganguly was out in the 27th over, caught on the midwicket boundary off Monty Panesar’s bowling, but the just settled Gambhir and the incoming Yuvraj Singh continued the work of the two openers. Gambhir scored hid 51 off 66 deliveries, but he was well and truly overshadowed by his partner. Yuvraj scored 72 off 57 deliveries – sparking a late onslaught, which was continued by Dhoni and Dravid with a cameo 24 each, with his two sixes off Panesar and Lewis.

Of the English bowlers, only captain Paul Collingwood was spared the humiliation of going for over a run a ball and was rewarded for his economy by claiming Yuvraj’s wicket – caught on the boundary. The Indians had set England a daunting 325 to win, which would be their highest successful run chase had they succeeded.

As it was, it was never on. Alistair Cook scored only 4 before edging Dhoni behind. Matt Prior and Ian Bell put on 90 for the second wicket in extremely good time to keep up with the required rate. Sourav Ganguly stepped in and broke the partnership, however, having Prior stumped for 46 before getting the wicket of Bell for 44 too. In between these those two wickets, Zaheer Khan removed Kevin Pietersen for a duck to leave England well behind the Duckworth/Lewis total after a rain interuption immediately after the collapse.

Coming back onto the field, England’s chances were soon ruined by Owais Shah’s painstakingly slow innings considering the situation. He scored 15 off 36 before edging the off spinner Ramesh Powar to Dhoni. Paul Collingwood played a valiant innings, scoring an unbeaten 91 off 71 deliveries in a vain attempt to make a game of it. He only had the bowlers and an injured Ravi Bopara for company though. Rain eventually called a halt to the proceedings, handing India victory.

A timely victory for the tourists gives them hope heading into the last two games. However, India must win both to win the series, starting with the game at The Oval on Wednesday.

India 324-6 (50 overs)
Yuvraj Singh 72, Sachin Tendulkar 71
Paul Collingwood 1-48, Monty Panesar 1-50

England 242-8 (39 overs)
Paul Collingwood 91*, Matt Prior 46
Sourav Ganguly 2-26, Ramesh Powar 2-45

India win by 38 runs (Duckworth/Lewis method)
England leads the series 3-2

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