Dhoni, Raina help India reach 300 (Lead)

October 14th, 2011 - 9:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Gautam Gambhir Hyderabad, Oct 14 (IANS) A captain’s knock by Mahendra Singh Dhoni helped India set an imposing target of 301 before England in the first One-Day International here Friday.

Giving the right start to what has been billed as the revenge series, Dhoni led from the front to hit an aggressive unbeaten 87 off 70 balls and helped India reach the 300-mark after they were struggling at 123 for four in 29 overs.

Playing the first match at home after their World Cup victory, the Indian batsmen came good against the visitors, who had a tough time in the field despite inflicting some early blows.

Dhoni, assisted by Suresh Raina (61) and Ravindra Jadeja (27), steered the team to score 177 runs in the last 21 overs. The captain’s innings included 10 fours and a six.

Raina, who was struggling with form, found the touch with a quickfire 61 off 55 balls. He alongwith Dhoni added 72 runs for the fifth wicket after India found themselves in a spot of bother.

After Raina was held by Jonny Bairstow off Steve Finn in the 39th over, Dhoni was joined by Jadeja to keep up the momentum. The two added 65 for the sixth wicket.

Jadeja provided some entertainment to the crowd by hitting two huge sixes on two successive deliveries off spinner Samit Patel in 43rd over, before he was run out.

There were useful contributions by Gautam Gambhir (32) and Virat Kohli (27 off), who tried to build the innings after early setbacks.

Making a comeback after an injury, Gambhir, who batted at number three, was in full flow on his birthday. He, however, did not last long and was trapped leg before off a full toss from Jade Dernbach.

Earlier, Graeme Swann struck in his first over when he had Ajinkya Rahane (15) stumped by Craig Kieswetter. Rahane was clearly short of confidence, throwing his wicket away after consuming 41 deliveries.

Some sloppy fielding by England also helped the home side. Jonathan Trott dropped Rahane off Finn in the second over while Kevin Pietersen faltered at the boundary on more than one occasion.

The Indian innings began on a disastrous note as Parthiv Patel (9) was run out after Rahane’s shot back to the bowler hit the stumps.

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