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NatWest series, Headingley: India 324-6 (50 ovs) bt England 242-8 (39 ovs) by 38 runs (D/L method)

By Jamie Lillywhite

Sachin Tendulkar
Tendulkar thrilled the crowd with some typically cavalier strokes

India secured a 38-run Duckworth-Lewis win at Headingley to cut England's lead to 3-2 in the seven-match series.

Openers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly shared 116 inside 20 overs and Yuvraj Singh fired 72 from 57 balls as India amassed 324-6 after being put in.

Matt Prior and Ian Bell shared 90 in reply but three men fell in 13 balls.

Chasing a revised 311 from 45 overs, Paul Collingwood smashed four sixes in a superb unbeaten 91 before rain forced a premature end to the contest.

England's hopes of sealing the series were dented before the match had even started, Andrew Flintoff ruled out after further problems with his troublesome left ankle.

To compound matters, Ravi Bopara suffered a dislocated thumb whilst fielding.

Collingwood won the toss for the first time in the series, however, but did not see the swing he had hoped for on an overcast morning.

With Chris Tremlett out of contention because of soreness in his foot, Jon Lewis was given his first England opportunity since January, preferred to Dimi Mascarenhas who hit five sixes in 52 in the defeat at Bristol and was fit again after injury.

Sourav Ganguly hits out
Ganguly often took the aerial route during his attacking innings

Surprisingly, the 32-year-old Gloucestershire seamer was given the new ball ahead of Stuart Broad.

The early exchanges produced only seven runs in five overs, but it was as much to do with India's openers adjusting to the cold conditions and the 1015 BST start as anything else.

With Lewis unable to find movement, it was not long before Tendulkar exploited his lack of pace, and he smashed four fours in an over to begin the onslaught.

Ganguly, playing his 300th ODI, added successive boundaries in the next and the fifty was quickly recorded in the ninth over.

Collingwood elected to take the third powerplay, but the 100 arrived in the 18th over and Ganguly launched the captain over long-on for the first six.

Tendulkar coasted to his 82nd ODI fifty before edging the persevering Lewis to an alert Prior at the stumps.

Ganguly often chanced his arm but quickly posted his 70th ODI half century, and when Lewis returned he swotted him into the stands at mid-wicket.

Monty Panesar helped to restrict the scoring when Ganguly failed to properly connect and was well caught on the mid-wicket boundary.

On 19, Gautam Gambhir was given a lifeline when a leading edge off Collingwood was spilled by Kevin Pietersen diving forward at short cover.

Mahendra Dhoni stumps Matt Prior
Prior's dismissal led to a rapid clatter of England wickets

Yuvraj had a reprieve courtesy not of the fielders but umpire Nigel Llong, who somehow failed to detect a thick edge into Prior's gloves when the left-hander cut Panesar.

Bopara joined the slower bowling cortege but soon had to leave the field after grounding a low return chance, and scans detected a dislocated thumb.

Yuvraj reached his 30th ODI fifty from 46 balls with a huge six over square-leg as Panesar tried a quicker ball, and Gambhir completed his second ODI fifty before holing out to substitute fielder Andrew Gale at deep mid-wicket.

Three overs before the end of the innings rain intervened and prompted an early lunch, but Rahul Dravid, batting at six, hit two of the first three balls after the resumption for four, followed by a remarkable cover drive for six, 19 coming from the Broad over.

More catches went down in the early stages of England's reply, Prior dropped by Tendulkar in the third over as the ball swerved in the air to him at slip.

Dhoni made no mistake as Alastair Cook edged to his left in the next, but Bell was put down first ball when Ganguly could only parry above his head at second slip.

Bell combined some elegant drives with fortuitous thick edges but hit three successive fours off Agarkar and three in four balls off an increasingly irate Zaheer Khan.

Paul Collingwood hits out
Collingwood hit some massive sixes Dhoni would have been proud of

A similarly bold approach from Prior took him within four of his second ODI fifty when Ganguly drew him out of his crease and Dhoni whipped off the bails like an extravagant stage conjurer.

Pietersen lasted only three balls, chasing one that was angled across him to ameliorate Zaheer's anger, while Ganguly's excellent match continued when he claimed the key wicket of in-form Bell, tempting him to nibble outside the off-stump.

India's assortment of slower bowlers prevented a boundary for seven overs and inimitable spinner Ramesh Powar struck with his fourth delivery to oust Owais Shah.

Bopara, bravely defying his thumb injury to bat at seven, lofted Powar down the ground for four and Collingwood launched successive big sixes off Tendulkar.

Collingwood swiped Tendulkar for four to record an enterprising 16th ODI fifty, followed by a towering six way back into the hospitality boxes at deep mid-wicket.

But Bopara, no doubt hampered by his injured right thumb, looped a simple return catch to Powar attempting to turn to leg, leaving an equation of 118 from 78 balls.

There was no repeat of the heroics at Old Trafford as Broad chipped Piyush Chawla to mid-wicket, but Collingwood slogged the leg-spinner for his fourth six.

Another fielding blemish saw a Lewis top-edge bizarrely squeeze between Agarkar's hands at deep mid-wicket, but another skied stroke was acrobatically pouched by Dhoni, who became the first Indian wicket-keeper to snare six victims in a one-day innings.

Collingwood was sadly denied a fifth one-day century when a further outbreak of rain ended the match with India comfortably ahead on the Duckworth-Lewis calculation.

India in England 2007
13 Aug 07 |  Cricket


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