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Tendulkar, Dravid give India huge total
Harish Kotian | August 24, 2007 23:55 IST
Sachin Tendulkar [Images] and Rahul Dravid [Images] smashed blazing half-centuries to lead India to a huge 329 for 5 against England [Images] in the second one-day international at the County Ground in Bristol, on Friday.
Tendulkar was unfortunate to be dismissed on 99, while Dravid sizzled with a quick knock of 92 not out as India bounced back in style after a miserable showing in the previous match.
Andrew Flintoff [Images], in his second match after a long injury lay-off, took five wickets for 53 but could not prevent India from mustering a huge total.
Tendulkar smashed 15 boundaries and a six in his 112-ball knock, but was unlucky to be ruled out caught behind off Andrew Flintoff in the 32nd over.
Dravid took over the mantle after Tendulkar's dismissal, hitting 11 boundaries and a six in 63 deliveries as India piled up 93 runs in the final 10 overs.
England lead the seven-match series 1-0, having won the first ODI by 104 runs.
England made one change, bringing in pacer Chris Tremlett for left-arm spinner Monty Panesar [Images]. It was a strange move to leave out Panesar considering that he bowled well in the first ODI and also got the important run-out of Sourav Ganguly. Tremlett though had impressed with his consistent line and length bowling in the Tests.
For India, Zaheer Khan [Images] missed out after being down with flu. His place was taken by Munaf Patel [Images]. They also preferred to bolster their bowling, getting in off-spinner Ramesh Powar for Gautam Gambhir [Images].
Sachin Tendulkar got India going in the first over of the day when he clipped Stuart Broad for a boundary through square leg. Three balls later, Ganguly smashed James Anderson through the point region for his first boundary as India showed their intentions.
In the first match, they were guilty of not taking the attack to the England bowlers, but here they were looking to attack the fielding restrictions.
In the fourth over, Tendulkar again creamed Anderson for two more boundaries through the leg-side and both times the bowler pitched it full and on the pads.
In the 10th over Tendulkar creamed a ball past midwicket for a boundary, a repeat of the shot that cost him his wicket in the first ODI. But, this time, he was better balanced and also found the gap. In the same over he scampered for a quick single for his first run on the off-side to move to 21.
Tendulkar's plan was quite clear. He was disciplined in his shot-making and preferred not to have a go on the off-side; he resisted the temptation and forced England to bowl a bit straighter, which he milked on the leg side.
India reached 39 for no loss in 10 overs as England opted to take the second Powerplay even though both the opening batsmen were looking to attack the bowling.
In the 11th over, Tendulkar smashed young pacer Broad for a delightful boundary through the off-side. Two balls later he charged down the wicket as Broad pitched it short, but Tendulkar, equal to the task, hit through the midwicket for another boundary, his sixth, to race to 29.
Tendulkar took India past 50 in style when he lofted Tremlett over the cover region for another smashing boundary. While Tendulkar was looking to get the boundaries, Ganguly provided the solidity from the other end as India's best-ever opening pair was proving its worth.
Tremlett suffered in his next over too when both Ganguly and Tendulkar hit him for a boundary each as India reached a strong 69 for no loss after 15 overs.
The master batsman brought up his half-century in fine style with two consecutive boundaries off Flintoff in the 16th over. First he opened the face of his bat to glide the ball to the third man for a boundary and then sliced through a crowded off-side to reach his fifty. His 80th half-century in ODIs took him 58 deliveries and included 10 boundaries.
Ganguly also started to blast a few boundaries from the other end. He lofted Tremlett straight down the ground for a huge six off a no-ball and followed it up with two boundaries in the same over.
After a cautious start, India were in the driver's seat with 41 runs coming from the last three overs as India reached 100 for no loss after 17 overs.
Just when it seemed that the two veterans were heading for a big score, India lost a wicket against the run of play. Ganguly tried to chip Flintoff over the off-side but could not hit it far enough and Paul Collingwood [Images] at point ran back to complete the catch.
Ganguly made 39, hitting five boundaries and a six in his 54-ball knock, adding 113 runs for the opening wicket. The platform had been set by the openers as India looked for a huge score a good batting wicket at Bristol.
Yuvraj Singh came in at number three as India looked to keep the left-right combination going. India had made good use of the second and third Powerplay overs. They scored 74 runs off the last 10 overs to reach 113 for 1 after 20 overs.
Part-timer Dimitri Mascarenhas was introduced and Tendulkar immediately gave the medium pacer some rough treatment. The veteran played two paddle shots for boundaries off two consecutive deliveries as Mascarenhas went for 10 in his first over, giving captain Collingwood plenty to think about.
Mascarenhas's inexperience showed as he strayed on the off-side in his next over and Tendulkar promptly despatched him through the covers for his 15th boundary to progress to 79.
Tremlett was clearly India's main target as the bowler was taken to the cleaners by Tendulkar as soon as he came back for his new spell. Tendulkar danced down the wicket and smashed the fast bowler straight down the ground for a huge six in the 25th over.
Yuvraj took some time to get going, but once he got settled even he found the pitch to his liking. In the 28th over, bowled by Mascarenhas, he announced himself with three spanking boundaries, two on the leg side and one through the covers.
Tendulkar survived a nervy moment in the nineties when his attempted a chip over mid-on off Collingwood which just about cleared the fielder as he moved to 98.
However, he fell soon after for 99, caught behind by wicketkeeper Matt Prior [Images] off a quick rising delivery from Flintoff. The short delivery that kicked up steeply seemed to have caught the maestro by surprise as he tried to evade it, but it took the gloves on the way to the keeper.
Closer looks at television replays showed that the ball had struck the arm guard, but England umpire Ian Gould ruled him out instantly without taking time to think about the exact spot of impact or the height of the delivery.
Tendulkar walked back smiling and shaking his head in disbelief to a huge applause after a delightful knock of 99, which included 15 boundaries and a six in 112 deliveries. He was involved in two big partnerships, 113 for the opening wicket with Ganguly and 67 for the second wicket with Yuvraj.
Captain Rahul Dravid looked positive from the onset as he looked to build on the solid platform laid by Tendulkar. His first boundary was a cute late cut off part time bowler Ravi Bopara through the third man region.
The duo played a few quite overs consisting of just singles and twos before Yuvraj broke the shackles with a powerful pull shot off the hapless Tremlett in the 39th over. In the next over, Dravid joined the party with two consecutive boundaries off Bopara on either side of the wicket.
Yuvraj also missed out on a milestone when he was caught at point off Broad for 49. The left-hander fell short of a deserved half-century when he sliced it straight to Collingwood, who held on to a good catch.
The stage was set perfectly for the dashing Mahendra Singh Dhoni [Images] to take advantage of the final few overs. He took just six balls to hit his first boundary, a smashing upper cut through the point region off Broad.
But it was Dravid who seemed just unstoppable as he raced to 46 from 42 deliveries, inclusive of five boundaries.
He brought up his half-century (off 43 deliveries) with a flick through mid-wicket off Broad in the 45th over as India looked to get a move on in the final few overs. Broad was then despatched through the square boundary on the off-side off the next delivery, before Dhoni glanced another boundary through fine leg in the same over.
Dhoni hit a quick 21 off 18 deliveries, inclusive of three boundaries, before he was caught at short fine leg off Anderson. He tried to hit it over Tremlett, but the tall fast bowler plucked out a neat catch to send back the Indian wicketkeeper in the 47th over.
Umpire Gould, a former England player, then gave another shocking decision when he ruled Dinesh Karthik out leg before wicket. A yorker delivery from Flintoff hit Karthik's left leg first which was clearly outside the leg stump before going on to hit the right leg in front of the stumps.
Dravid was in vintage form and was easily finding the boundary on either side of the wicket. In the 49th over by Anderson, he hit a flat six over the off-side off Anderson and then in the same over followed it up with a boundary.
Flintoff took two wickets in the final over of the innings to complete his five-wicket haul. Agarkar went for a big drive through the off-side but was caught behind and his Mumbai team mate Ramesh Powar also followed him in the same way.
Dravid finished unbeaten on 92 from 63, inclusive of 11 boundaries and a six, as India amassed a mammoth 329 for 7 in their 50 overs.
It completed a brilliant batting performance from the Indians as contributions came from all the top batsmen. Never in the course of their batting did they let the England bowlers comeback.
The Indian bowlers, in the absence of the in-form Zaheer Khan, now face a huge task as even the England batsmen will look to attack them in pursuit of 330. A perfect pitch for batting and short boundaries is every bowler's nightmare and even the Indian bowlers will feel the heat.