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England v India 4th ODI



One-day international, Old Trafford:
England 213-7 bt India 212 by three wickets

By Sam Lyon

Ravi Bopara and Stuart Broad
Bopara and Broad put on 99 to see England home at Old Trafford

A record eighth-wicket stand between Ravi Bopara (43no) and Stuart Broad (45no) led England to a three-wicket win over India and a 3-1 series lead.

The pair came together with England reeling on 114-7, chasing 213 to win, but showed remarkable composure as they reached 213-7 with 12 balls to spare.

It meant Agit Agarkar's 4-54 proved redundant, while Broad's all-round effort earned him the man of the match.

He had also taken 4-51 with the ball to help restrict India to 212 all out.

Broad and Bopara put on 99, a record eighth-wicket partnership by England against any country, to complete a remarkable turn-around for the hosts.

England looked to be out of contention when Paul Collingwood (47) was run out with England still 99 runs shy of victory.

But, in truth, it was just reward after a fabulous effort in the field, inspired by Broad and James Anderson, who found good pace and accuracy first up to cause India all sorts of problems in their innings.

606: DEBATE

It was the latter that made the breakthrough on a pitch that was providing good bounce, Sourav Ganguly mis-timing an attempted pull high to Ian Bell at mid-wicket.

England's pacemen were clearly adopting the short-ball approach to the visiting batsmen, and Broad got his reward for a tight opening spell when the out-of-sorts Dinesh Karthik flailed at a wide one and edged behind.

And when Andrew Flintoff produced a jaffa to snare Rahul Dravid in his first over, India were in real trouble at 32-3.

The Lancastrian all-rounder was at his brilliant best with the ball, finding movement off the seam and good bounce to concede just eight off his first five overs and ending with figures of 1-31.

Andrew Flintoff (third left) and Kevin Pietersen (front) took vital wickets
Andrew Flintoff (third left) and Kevin Pietersen (front) took vital wickets

It meant Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh were forced to dig in, with Tendulkar mixing a good defence and a reluctance to play the short ball with the occasional sumptuous drive that raced across the outfield.

He and Yuvraj finally settled in when the likes of Monty Panesar and Collingwood took pace off the ball but, unbelievably, Tendulkar fell in Kevin Pietersen's first over, the veteran latching onto a long-hop but succeeding only in finding Flintoff on the square leg boundary.

It ended a stand of 71 off 17.3 overs, and another brief partnership between Yuvraj and Mahendra Dhoni was ended when the latter played round a beauty from Panesar and he was bowled.

That brought Agarkar to the crease, recalled to the side in place of Munaf Patel.

However, despite a streaky four down to third man, the all-rounder had little impact with the bat and he edged Broad to Matt Prior for just six.

His departure prompted a rally from Yuvraj, who finally opened his shoulders to good effect following a dogged innings.

But Broad returned to bowl him round his legs to end his 104-ball stay, and the Leicestershire paceman removed Ramesh Powar on the pull two balls later.

Agit Agarkar
Agarkar led the way with a superb opening spell, taking 4-54

The haul represented his best return for England in one-day cricket and it could have been even better had Zaheer Khan's edge not fallen short of him in the 47th over.

In the end, Zaheer (20) and Piyush Chawla helped India past 200 with a brisk stand of 31, before the former and RP Singh fell off Anderson slower balls.

But if England thought 213 was a decent target to chase, their reply got off to the worst possible start, with India full of aggression and taunts in the field.

First Alastair Cook was bowled in the first over and then Prior chipped one down to third man with the score on just 14.

Bell strode to the crease in understandably buoyant mood following his recent purple patch with the ball, but he survived two big scares as thick-edges flew through the slips before he left an Agarkar in-cutter alone and it took out his off-stump.

Despite wickets tumbling, the home run-rate was racing along and Pietersen and Collingwood combined to apparently settle the nerves with a stand of 46.

It looked like England had finally regained some composure, but Pietersen then suffered a rush of blood to the head to continue his poor series with the bat, pulling Agarkar high to square leg where Chawla took the catch.

Paul Collingwood
Collingwood's run out looked to have put India firmly in control

It sparked a clatter of wickets, with Flintoff looking out of sorts before finding Yuvraj at backward point and Owais Shah then gloving Powar to short leg.

And when Collingwood and Ravi Bopara got in a mix on a run and the former was run out by RP Singh, England looked out of the running.

The run out was indicative of an improved performance from the tourists in the field, but as Bopara and Broad began picking off the runs the tourists' early fervour evaporated.

The young duo played with a maturity beyond their years as they worked the spinners around and shared six boundaries between them during a record partnership.

Even a huge lbw shout against Broad when he was on 25 could not halt the hosts' flow and with overthrows and extras creeping into India's game, the pair saw England home to leave them one win short of victory in this seven-match series.

SEE ALSO
India in England 2007
13 Aug 07 |  Cricket


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