Rain creates more problems for England (Innings report)

November 24th, 2008 - 12:27 am ICT by IANS  

Sachin TendulkarBangalore, Nov 23 (IANS) India took a long 432 minutes to complete their quota of 22 overs and score 166 for four against England in a rain-truncated fourth One-Day International of the Hero Honda Cup here Saturday. However, according to the Duckworth-Lewis Method, England were set a target of 198 runs in 22 overs.Asked to bat first by England captain Kevin Pietersen, India were chugging along at 106 for one in 17 overs when a sharp spell of rain interrupted the proceedings.

After the ill-clad ground staff laboured untiringly for three hours to put the rain-infested outfield in order, India made a quickfire 60 in fives over to finish at the imposing 166 for four.

Already run ragged by the Duckworth-Lewis method at Kanpur, England were set to make an improbable 198 from their 22 overs to win the truncated day-nighter and reduce their 0-3 deficit in the seven-match series.

Yuvraj Singh was at the belligerent best smashing three towering sixes in his 11-ball unbeaten 25, each six sailing further and further in the stands. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan, who hit the last and the only ball he faced into the stands, joined the run fest.

But it was Virender Sehwag who lent impetus to the Indian charge, producing a blistering 57-ball 69, embellished with nine boundaries and three sixes.

Sehwag reached a milestone during his onslaught, becoming only the sixth Indian batsman to aggregate 6,000 runs in ODIs, joining the elite band of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Mohammed Azharuddin and Yuvraj Singh.

Sehwag treated James Anderson and Stuart Broad with disdain, cutting, driving and pulling the English fast bowlers with impunity. If Anderson had been at the receiving end in the beginning, Broad came under attack in the third power play (15-18 overs) when Sehwag cut loose in the 17th over, following two boundaries with a massive pull over the mid-wicket pickets.

Gautam Gambhir, batting at number three to accommodate Sachin Tendulkar to open with Sehwag, was in good nick as well, driving and flicking with panache during his 28-ball undefeated 30, which included five boundaries.

Tendulkar, playing his first one-dayer in eight months, was content to play second fiddle to the aggressive Sehwag, before Broad found the gate between the master batsman’s bat and pad to knock back the off stump.

It could be debated if the seven-minute delay in play to reconstruct the boot-damaged bowling crease caused the lapse in Tendulkar’s concentration. For, the Mumbaikar perished in the very ball play was resumed. He made 11 in a partnership of 38.

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