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Shah heroics fail to save England

Fourth one-day international, Bangalore: India 166-4 (22 overs) beat England 178-8 (22 overs) by 19 runs (Duckworth-Lewis method)
By Pranav Soneji

Owais Shah hits out against India in Bangalore
Owais Shah changed the complexion of the match with his 48-ball innings

Owais Shah's 72 could not prevent England from suffering a 19-run, rain-affected defeat by India, who took an unassailable 4-0 lead in the series.

Set an adjusted victory target of 198 from 22 overs, Shah and Andrew Flintoff (41) gave England hope with a fine 82-run fourth-wicket partnership.

But both men were dismissed in the final six overs as England fell short.

India's 166-4 was interrupted by rain delays as Virender Sehwag (69) and Gautam Gambhir (40) set the platform.

The victory ensures India are still on target for a resounding 7-0 whitewash, although Shah did not deserve to finish on the losing side after a superb innings from just 48 deliveries.

India's already daunting line-up was further boosted by Sachin Tendulkar, who returned from a three-match absence to the top of the batting order at the expense of the unfortunate Rohit Sharma.

How England's selectors would have loved to have a dilemma like their hosts. Instead, they kept faith with the same XI from Kanpur, with James Anderson retaining his place ahead of Steve Harmison.

India had made comfortable progress to 106-1 after 17 overs after Kevin Pietersen had won the toss and elected to field to utilise the overcast and humid conditions.

Already hampered by a two-hour rain interruption in the 14th over, the match was held up a further three hours by another long rain shower, forcing umpires Amiesh Saheba and Daryl Harper to reduce the match to 22 overs a side.

Virender Sehwag smashes a six in Bangalore
Sehwag hit three sixes in his 57-ball innings

The resumption saw the hosts plunder 60 runs from their final five overs, with Pietersen conceding 17 runs from his solitary over.

Swann was England's most productive bowler, accounting for both Sehwag and Gambhir, with both men caught on the long on boundary by Anderson.

But cameos from Yuvraj Singh (25) and a six off the final ball of the innings from Yusuf Pathan ensured England's batsmen were chasing a challenging Duckworth-Lewis adjusted total.

England's replay began in the worst possible fashion when opener Ravi Bopara was brilliantly caught by Ishant Sharma for one in the second over from Munaf Patel.

Partner Ian Bell continued to labour at the top of the order, failing to pierce the infield and his misery was finally ended when he missed a straight delivery from Harbhajan Singh for nine.

Lusty blows from Shah kept the scoreboard ticking over, but the required run-rate exceeded 11 an over when Pietersen played on to Ishant Sharma for five.

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But the complexion of the match turned when Flintoff joined Shah at the crease in the ninth over as the pair rallied by smashing 16 from a profligate Yuvraj in the 10th over.

Shah brought up his half-century from just 35 balls with a blistering pull shot through midwicket off Sharma for four in the 12th over.

Flintoff combined subtle late cuts with sheer brutal strength, including a six which clattered into the stadium roof off Harbhajan in the 13th over.

With England requiring 65 off 36 balls, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was confronted with his first captaincy dilemma of the series.

With his spinners carted to all parts of the ground, the India skipper turned to Zaheer, who duly delivered when Shah top-edged a full toss into the hands of Tendulkar at point.

And Flintoff followed in the next over when he chipped Sharma into Zaheer's hands, a wicket which effectively ended any hopes of a morale-boosting victory.

With the run-rate shooting up to 14 an over, Samit Patel and Paul Collingwood attempted to cage the beast, but the former ended up holing out to Gautam Gambhir for 11.

And with 27 needed from the final over, England inevitably ended up short as India wrapped up the series as the clock ticked past midnight.



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see also
India v England ODI photos
23 Nov 08 |  England
Sidebottom doubt for India Tests
23 Nov 08 |  England
India secure win in fading light
20 Nov 08 |  England
Dismal England thrashed by India
14 Nov 08 |  England
England in India 2008
23 Nov 08 |  Cricket


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
The Times Sorry England are beaten again - 19 mins ago
Telegraph Sehwag proves too good but England show fight - 22 mins ago
The Times England handed tough task - 5 hrs ago
The Times India recover from early wicket as rain intervenes - 7 hrs ago
The Times India recover from early wicket - 7 hrs ago


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