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Dismal England thrashed by India

First one-day international, Rajkot:
India 387-5 (50 overs) v England 229 (37.4 overs) by 158 runs

By David Ornstein

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj made the quickest ODI century by anyone against England

Yuvraj Singh's century and an England batting collapse saw the tourists thrashed by India in the first of seven one-day internationals in Rajkot.

Virender Sehwag (85) and Gautam Gambhir (51) gave India a fine start before Yuvraj hit 138 not out off 78 balls.

Replying to India's 387-5, England fell to 38-4 with Zaheer Khan taking (3-26).

Captain Kevin Pietersen (63) tried to haul his side back into the match but was run out and the tourists were soon dismissed for 229, a loss by 158 runs.

Ravi Bopara weighed in with an impressive 54 not out featuring five sixes but that will be of little consolation to England who, on this evidence, will struggle to work their way back into the series.

The teams travel to Indore for the second ODI on Monday with India, fresh from their Test series win against Australia, in scintillating form with both bat and ball.

Pietersen would have been delighted to win the toss on wicket with a decent covering of grass which he must have thought might offer the seam bowlers some early bounce and movement.

He was to be sorely disappointed as the wicket proved flat. James Anderson and Stuart Broad probed away in search of early wickets, but in Sehwag and Gambhir the tourists were faced with world cricket's in-form first-wicket partnership.

606: DEBATE
OBR

Sehwag was particularly fluent, exploiting the devilishly quick outfield by working anything short, full or into the legs for a flurry of early boundaries.

Gambhir soon burst into life and the pair dispatched every loose delivery, their running between the wickets was exemplary.

Paul Collingwood saw Sehwag bludgeon his first two deliveries over mid-off and midwicket for sixes but that over, which went for 19 runs, was a sign of things to come.

England did their best to respond. Flintoff was unfortunate to see an lbw appeal against Sehwag rejected by umpire Russell Tiffin before Samit Patel had Gambhir taken by Owais Shah at long-off.

Patel also had Sehwag caught brilliantly by a diving Ian Bell at midwicket but that brought Yuvraj to the crease and the fireworks duly began.

TMS video reaction - India v England

The 26-year-old, who hit a Broad over for six maximums during the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, was suffering from a back injury but it appeared to have anything but a detrimental affect on his batting.

After Suresh Raina had belted Broad over midwicket and Pietersen over long-on for sixes, Yuvraj smashed Flintoff and Harmison for huge sixes over long-on.

Raina fell for 43 when he sliced a Flintoff full toss to Collingwood at backward point and, four balls later, Yusuf Pathan pulled Harmison weakly to Bell at midwicket.

There would, however, be no let-up for England and Yuvraj hit Broad for a flat six over cover-point and pulled the next ball for four.

With Mahendra Dhoni helping to keep the run-rate at over seven per over, Yuvraj was able to relax and the 44th over, bowled by Patel, went for 17 including two fours and yet another enormous six.

The bowling became erratic and Dhoni lifted Anderson over long-off for six before Yuvraj, aided by a runner because of a back complaint, completed the quickest one-day century by anyone against England.

The left-hander played some remarkable shots, none more so than when chipping a virtual yorker from Flintoff straight down the ground for six, with no follow-through at all.

Dhoni played across the line and was clean bowled by Harmison but the misery would continue for England as Yuvraj and Rohit Sharma took 18 runs off the 49th over.

Kevin Pietersen
The end of Pietersen, who made 63, all-but finished off England
When Pietersen's men finally trudged back to their dressing-room, they had conceded the most runs ever by an England team in ODIs, and it was the highest ever total in India. Yuvraj had 16 fours and six sixes to his name.

When England began their chase, Ian Bell made a fairly confident start but Matt Prior never looked comfortable and it came as little surprise when he edged Munaf Patel to Sehwag at slip in the fourth over.

Sehwag was again on hand when Zaheer Khan squared up Shah, induced a thick outside edge and reduced England to 17-2.

A tentative and defensive Pietersen did his best to steady the innings but runs were slow in coming and he soon lost Bell, who flashed wildly at Zaheer and edged behind.

Flintoff showed that conditions were still favourable, taking advantage of the quick outfield by punching Zaheer past cover-point for four.

But, the very next ball, England's talismanic all-rounder was also heading back to the pavilion, the victim of a poor decision by Tiffin when trapped by a Zaheer delivery that pitched outside the line of leg-stump.

There was no mistaking the dismissal of Collingwood, who made a nervy 19 before fishing outside off stump and presenting wicketkeeper Dhoni with another straightforward take.

Pietersen crashed Pathan over long-on for two sixes and was ably supported by Patel, who lifted Sehwag for two maximums of his own.

But India regained their concentration and removed both players, Patel stumped off the bowling of Harbhajan Singh and Pietersen run out by Sharma after Bopara took a single that was not there to be taken.

Bopara and Broad put on a spirited 45-run stand but Broad, who was dropped by Sehwag at slip off Harbhajan went for one slog too many and hit Sehwag to Gambhir at long-on.

Harmison was run out and then Anderson trapped leg-before to confirm England's fate. But before that happened, Bopara had just managed to score enough runs to ensure England would avoid their heaviest ever defeat by a runs margin in ODIs.

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see also
Pietersen praises 'super' India
14 Nov 08 |  England
England's Indian challenge
12 Nov 08 |  England
Pietersen calm after dismal loss
11 Nov 08 |  England
England collapse to heavy defeat
11 Nov 08 |  England
Flintoff ton sets up England win
09 Nov 08 |  England
Tendulkar rested for one-dayers
05 Nov 08 |  Cricket
England in India 2008
14 Nov 08 |  Cricket


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