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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 April 2006, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
Strauss leads way in England win
One-day International, Jamshedpur: England 227-5 (42.4 overs) bt India 223 (48 overs) by 5 wickets

Andrew Strauss
We were just pleased to get a wicket with a bit of pace and bounce
Andrew Strauss
Acting captain Andrew Strauss made 74 as England won their first match of the series, beating India by five wickets in the sixth one-dayer in Jamshedpur.

Strauss shared 107 with Ian Bell (46) before cramp forced him to retire hurt, while Kevin Pietersen hit a rapid 33.

A century stand between MS Dhoni and Ramesh Powar had lifted India to 223, after they were 79-5 in the 16th over.

Dhoni smashed three sixes in a cavalier 96, Powar made his first one-day fifty, while James Anderson captured 3-28.

Strauss set the tone for the England reply with three boundaries in the third over of the innings, bowled by RP Singh.

Bell also looked in fine touch, twice hitting two fours in an over, although he was reprieved on 20 when superbly caught at fine-leg off a no-ball from debutant Vikram Singh.

Spin was introduced after 13 overs but Harbhajan dropped short and was promptly cut off the back foot by Strauss for four.

Bell's fluent innings ended on 46 in the 20th over when he was defeated by a doosra from Harbhajan.

Strauss enjoyed a stroke of fortune on 60 when he edged a cut and the ball rebounded out of Dhoni's gloves.

The next ball brought a wicket, however, as Vikram Solanki danced down the wicket and was beaten in the flight as the ball spun in sharply.

Andrew Strauss and Andrew Flintoff
Acting skipper Strauss is treated by acting 12th man Flintoff

Strauss' main problem was the intense heat that caused him considerable pain, and after briefly using Solanki as a runner he left the field.

Pietersen hit an extravagant front foot swivel pull and raced to 33, but having taken his team within 26 of victory he got a leading edge to Harbhajan.

Paul Collingwood (23), dropped on five by Yuvraj Singh at backward point, held firm after some injudicious strokes had made victory more difficult than it should have been.

Matt Prior (3) tried a lofted drive against Harbhajan and found mid-off, while Liam Plunkett attempted to sweep Powar from way outside off-stump and got a bottom edge to slip.

Ian Blackwell ended the match in style with a four and a huge straight six off Powar.

With the series already decided, both captains opted to miss the match.

On a sweltering day with temperatures nearing 50 degrees, it seemed as though England's bowlers were in for more toil when Sehwag cut the first ball from Anderson to the fence, but still in the opening over he nicked to slip.

Dhoni began in typically explosive fashion and hit Matthew Hoggard out of the attack, the Yorkshireman conceding 21 from his first two overs.

Mohammad Kaif was reprieved on nine when Collingwood spilled a chance at square cover, but was trapped on the crease for 15 by Sajid Mahmood.

Liam Plunkett was introduced into the attack in the 11th over and struck with his third ball when Yuvraj pulled onto his stumps.

Strauss chose to take the second powerplay immediately and it brought him the key wicket of Suresh Raina.

The left-hander made two before he glanced Plunkett down the leg-side and Prior, keeping wicket for the resting Geraint Jones, took the catch to his right.

Strauss completed his powerplays and the change brought immediate success as Anderson caught Venugopal Rao's edge.

The stocky Powar hit the first six of the match in the 27th over when he backed away against Blackwell and launched him over extra-cover.

Dhoni's fearsome straight drive for six brought up the fifty partnership from 73 balls.

MS Dhoni smashes Matthew Hoggard
Hoggard had little answer to the savage strokeplay of Dhoni

The extreme heat caused problems for both sides, Plunkett struck down by cramp, local hero Dhoni requiring ice packs and Prior vomiting behind the stumps.

Dhoni almost wound himself off his feet in depositing Vikram Solanki out of the ground, leaving Strauss with his first captaincy problems.

With Plunkett off the field he turned to Mahmood, but he too was soon hampered by cramp.

The century stand came from 108 balls but was ended after a drinks break.

With cooling mechanisms jutting out from his shirt, Dhoni clipped the first ball after the resumption from Mahmood, straight to mid-wicket.

Pietersen took his first international wicket when an off-break sneaked through Harbhajan Singh, the batsman bizarrely remaining at the crease for some while after his stumps had been knocked back.

Powar's inventive 54 ended with a well-judged catch by Hoggard running around from the long-on boundary.

Debutant Vikram Singh was dropped on nought off Blackwell, Bell inexplicably spilling a chance that went straight in and out of his hands on the boundary.

Blackwell made no mistake in the field, moving from mid-off to pouch a skied miscue from RP Singh and safely taking Vikram Singh at mid-on to end the innings two overs prematurely.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: England batsman Andrew Strauss



SEE ALSO
Simon Mann's column
12 Apr 06 |  England
Jamshedpur ODI: As it happened
12 Apr 06 |  England
India grounds profiled
13 Feb 06 |  Cricket
England in India 2006
25 Feb 06 |  Future tour dates


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