Indore ODI: India finish series with thumping win
Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina ensured that great opening partnership between Robin Uthappa and Rahul Dravid would not go in vain as India comprehensively beat England.Full ScorecardUpdated: Apr 15, 2006 23:39 IST
Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina ensured that great opening partnership between Robin Uthappa and Rahul Dravid would not go in vain as India comprehensively beat England bysevenwickets in the seventh and final one-dayer on Saturday.
India had a big target— 289— to chase, but the 166-run partnership between Dravid and Uthappa gave Yuvraj and Raina the platform to give the finishing touch.
With this win, India finished the series 5-1.
Yuvraj Singh remained unbeaten on 63 while Raina (53) got out to Kabir Ali when Indian win was almost secured.
This was after England, despite Sreesanth's six wickets scored 288 all out in 50 overs.
Again the team found itself in bit of a trouble. And again it was Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina who shared another good partnership.
India lost two quick wickets. The asking-rate was more than six. One or two more wickets, and anything could have happened.
But both the left-handers batted in the right manner, piercing the gaps, collecting the ones and twos, getting the odd boundaries without ever taking risks.
Though the required rate was still over six, these two ensured that, with wickets in hand, they could launch an attack later in the innings.
Fall of two quick wickets:
It never rains. England must have felt that under the hot Indore sun.
Runs were raining from the blades of Rahul Dravid and Robin Uthappa. 28 overs were bowled and England failed to get a single wicket until Uthappa was dismissed in the most bizarre way.
The debutant was batting so freely that he was nearing his century. He ran for two after playing a straight drive. But he started walking on his second run, thinking that the throw was at the non-striker's end.
Geriant Jones, the wicketkeeper deceived him, by collecting the ball in a flash and removing the bails before Uthappa could reach home.
It was an unfortunate dismissal, one that eluded a talented youngman a hundred on debut.
Soon England could celebrate once more. Sajid Mahmood, in his second spell, had Rahul Dravid (69) plumb in front. Within four balls, India, from 166/0, found themselves at 166/2 with two new batsmen— Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina — in the middle. Suddenly, there was a rain of wickets.
The opening stand:
With a target as big as 289 to chase, Rahul Dravid came out to open.
There was no Virender Sehwag this time who was given some badly needed 'rest', which opened the door for Robin Uthappa to get into the team.
He took first strike. For a first timer, nerves were not to be seen. Two beautifully played strokes on the on side were on view. It was in the very first over bowled by James Anderson.
Robin was looking composed with his strokes. He seemed to lose his poise only when the England bowlers, Anderson and Sajid Mehmood, pitched it short.
Dravid was playing as he had been ever been, proving that you don't really need to hit in the air to get the boundaries during Power Play. The two gave India a very good start.
By the fifth over, Andrew Strauss used his all his four seamers, but that couldn't stop the two Indians from hitting the fours whenever they got the width to drive, cut and pull.
It was very good batting, but England could have bowled better. Bowling on the legs of Dravid means you are only asking for trouble. Dravid completed his half-century, and a very fluent one at that.
Uthappa's virgin international innings too fetched him a half-century. Soon after reaching the milestone, he showed authority against the short ball for the first time. Anderson aimed his ribs, but Uthappa rolled his wrist and the ball soared higher and higher, over fine-leg and into the stand.
It wasn't as savage as it was sweet. Two boundaries came in the next two balls, one an out-side edge (a handy one-day shot!) to the third-man fence and the other an on-drive off a low full toss. It was worth watching again and again.
Riding on fine half-centuries from Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood and Geraint Jones, England set India a difficult target to chase in the seventh one-dayer on Saturday.
For India Sreesanth got six wickets, but other bowlers were hardly as impressive. Pietersen (64), Collingwood (64) and Jones (53) did enough with the bat to ensure that their bowlers would have a big total to defend.
It was because of some very good batting from these three that England could score 288 in the stipulated 50 overs after Rahul Dravid had opted to field.
They were eventually all out while trying to score too many in the final overs. That should not take anything away from Sreesanth whose clever chance of pace and length got him the wickets.
Kevin Pietersen was dismissed. But Paul Collingwood won't relent.
He changed his gear once his partner perished. And that gave Rahul Dravid the space to breathe. Now he could he could bring back VRV Singh.
The rookie fast bowler came back and there was no Pietersen to frighten him any more. 37 runs in first two overs! One could not have been left with more bruises.
He bowled but Collingwood, in the company of Geraint Jones, was looking for the ones and twos. It was a good, sensible partnership; one that ensured Pietersen's mesmerising innings would not go in vain.
Collingwood then reached his 10th ODI half-century, and in a manner more stylish than the goggles Ramesh Powar was wearing, with his loftedshot off himsoaring over the long on boundary and into the stands.
Jones was brilliant, finding the gaps at ease and Indian didn't know where to bowl.
KP at his best:
Two wickets had fallen in two overs. From 43/0, England found themselves at 47/2.
In came Kevin Pietersen to join Ian Bell. And little did VRV Singh, one of the fastest on the land, know what was to follow.
Pietersen hit him where he wanted, walking down, flicking over mid-wicket, to the long on, he took 22 runs in one over. No mercy for RP Singh either.
This time KP drove, on the rise to long off and long on. Exhilarating batting. Indians felt the heat.
Rahul Dravid brought Ramesh Powar. And the first ball produced a wicket, a run out, but a wicket nevertheless. Bell failed to beat the throw from the man at mid-on. It was a wicket, which came against the run of play.
Paul Collingwood joined Pietersen and he got off to a flying start, by lofting RP Singh straight over for as big a six you could see.
Powar bowled a fraction short, and Collingwood rocked back to cut. It was attacking batting at its best as Pietersen completed what was indeed a magnificent half-century.
The Indians were feeling the feat from Pietersen (64 in 55 balls, 11 fours, 1 six) who was on a hot streak. But sometimes, the hunter becomes the hunted. And eventually, Pietersen fell to the heat of Indore.
He was struggling with cramps, a runner was called. But soon, he attempted to hit Yuvraj Singh over mid-wicket, didn't get the distance, giving Robin Uthappa his first international catch.
Andrew Strauss was batting as well as you have seen in all his career until he fell to the most harmless delivery of the morning.
Sreesanth bowled one that was going away from him, Strauss decided to chase, managed to get his bat on it, but an out-side edge was all that he could manage.
Dinesh Kaarthick dived forward and just managed to grab the ball before it could kiss the ground.
Third umpire's help was taken to clear the doubt. And eventually Strauss (25) had to depart.
Sreesanth gave India the wicket they so badly wanted. Matthew Prior joined Ian Bell, who was batting quite well, joined in the middle. Join he did but only for five balls as he fell to the trap.
Sreesanth bowled him the bouncer and Prior went for it, only to find Irfan Pathan at fine-leg. Two wickets in two overs. India could not have asked for more.
Rahul Dravid finally made a change, bringing RP Singh in the 13th over.
Both the England openers were confident in handling anything that the two Indian new ball bowlers had to offer.
Irfan Pathan bowled the first over and Andrew Strauss, leading the side again in the absence of Andrew Flintoff, was watchful.
But the second ball he faced was short and wide and he gave the treatment Pathan was asking for by delightfully punching him to the cover off the back foot.
Sreesunth kept the ball in and around off stump. Ian Bell is always happy to leave them alone. It seems England are determined not to lose any early wickets.
The wicket is behaving pretty normal, much to the joy of both the England batsmen.
The left-hand and right combination of Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell means bowlers could never afford to err in line. Somthing that they did with Irfan Pathan conceding quite a few wides.
Strauss also never wasted a chance to punish the bad ball on either foot. He is looking is extremely good touch.
India win toss:
Indian captain Rahul Dravid won the toss and decided to field on a wicket with a bit of grass.
It's a good wicket to bat on, but the Indian captain clearly wanted to exploit the early morning conditions in this seventh and final ODI on Saturday.
As India had already clinched the series, there is nothing much at stake really. England, of course, would be keen to finish the series at 2-4, rather than 1-5.
India dropped Mohammad Kaif. The gritty middle-order batsman was badly out of form. Virender Shewag also makes way for Robin Uthappa. It would be the debut match for the young Karnataka batsman.
Geraint Jones comes back to the England team after missing the last match.
England: A Strauss, I Bell, M Prior, K Pietersen, P Collingwood, G Jones, I Blackwell, L Plunkett, Kabir Ali, S Mahmood, J Anderson.
India: R Uthappa, R Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, S Raina, Y Venugopal Rao, D Karthik, I Pathan, R Powar, RP Singh, VRV Singh, S Sreesanth.
First Published: Apr 15, 2006 08:33 IST