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Resurgent India win cliffhanger, level ODI series

Tendulkar and Ganguly put tremendous batting display to help India beat England by two wickets, reports Anjali Behl.

cricket Updated: Sep 12, 2007 19:36 IST
Anjali Behl

Sachin Tendulkar, who showed glimpses of his old days, helped India beat England by two wickets in the sixth one-day international at the Oval on Wednesday.

Owais Shah's maiden ODI century and recalled player Dimitri Mascarenhas' five sixes in a row in the last five balls of the innings went in vain as resurgent India levelled the seven-match NatWest series 3-3.

India innings

Man of the Match Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly put tremendous batting display to help India successfully chase a mammoth target of 317 runs. The experienced duo dished out quick runs within the first powerplay to give the hosts some anxious moments.

They fired boundaries at regular intervals before Stuart Broad broke the 150-run partnership, packing off Ganguly. The southpaw, who completed his 71st ODI half-century, hit seven boundaries and a six before returning at 53.

At the end of the 21st over, Sachin was down on the ground with pain owing to a cramp. He resumed play with visible unease. Not long after, Monty Panesar had him caught by Paul Collingwood. The Indian ace eluded yet another century, returning at 94.

After upsetting Yuvraj Singh with his batting earlier in the game, Mascarenhas did it again with his bowling. He caught the ball off his own delivery to dismiss Yuvraj at 18.

Next, Owais Shah grabbed his maiden international wicket in the form of skipper Rahul Dravid. Mascarenhas returned to uproot well-set Gautam Gambhir. The batsman hit 47 off 57 balls, but Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Robin Uthappa kept the momentum intact.

Dhoni fell to Broad, leaving India need 23 from 12 balls.

The match neared a nail-biting end as Ajit Agarkar was run out off the last ball of the penultimate over. Zaheer Khan was run out without facing a ball, but Uthappa, who made an unbeaten 47, saw India home with two balls to spare.

England innings

Owais Shah registered his maiden ODI century while recalled player Dimitri Mascarenhas hammered five sixes in a row in the last five balls of the innings as England posted a huge total against India.

After a poor start (20 for 2), the hosts bounced back with great élan to pelt 114 runs in the last 10 overs. Debutant Luke Wright impressed with his maiden ODI fifty while sharing a 106-run partnership with Shah.

India started the game on a promising note as pacer Zaheer scalped a wicket on the second ball of the day. Continuing his good form behind the stumps, Dhoni caught the ball to dismiss Alastair Cook off Zaheer.

Agarkar struck next to trap Matt Prior leg-before on an individual score of six.

Piyush Chawla broke the key partnership between Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell, packing the latter at 49.

In the next over, Paul Collingwood was run out. The skipper left the crease enraged over the umpire's decision.

In the 31st over, Ganguly and Yuvraj accounted for the run out of dangerman Pietersen, solidifying India's stance in the game. The batsman departed at 53.

Wright made a memorable debut with his brilliant half-century, which included seven boundaries and a six. The Sussex all-rounder revived the hosts' innings before being run out in pursuit of a single which was not there.

Shah sent the tourists to all corners of the park en route his maiden one-day century. His unbeaten 107 included 11 boundaries and two sixes. But, Mascarenhas was the man of the moment with his five consecutive sixes to seal a gigantic total for England.

Andrew Flintoff missed out with his ankle injury, with Ravi Bopara already ruled out with a damaged thumb and Chris Tremlett also suffering ankle problems.

Teams

England: Alastair Cook, Matt Prior (wicketkeeper), Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood (captain), Owais Shah, Luke Wright, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Monty Panesar.

India: Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid (captain), Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Robin Uthappa, Ramesh Powar, Ajit Agarkar, Piyush Chawla, Zaheer Khan.