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Broad stars in England's victory
Harish Kotian | August 30, 2007 23:07 IST
Last Updated: August 31, 2007 11:39 IST
Stuart Broad came up with a fine all-round performance to help England [Images] beat India by three wickets in the fourth one-day international at Old Trafford in Manchester on Thursday.
Broad played a solid knock of 45 to steer England home after they were reeling at 114 for 7 at one stage. His unbeaten partnership of 99 runs with Ravi Bopara, who made 43 not out, helped England reach the victory target of 213, with two overs to spare.
The 21-year-old Broad was also the star performer with the ball for England as he picked up 4 wickets for 51 runs to bowl out India for 212 in 49.4 overs.
For India, Yuvraj Singh [Images] top scored with 71 and Sachin Tendulkar [Images] made 55, but the rest of the batsmen failed to capitalize on a good batting wicket after captain Rahul Dravid [Images] had elected to bat.
England thus took a commanding 3-1 lead in the seven-match one-day international series.
Rahul Dravid once again won the toss and this time made the obvious choice of electing to bat first.
The visitors, trailing 1-2 in the series, dropped Munaf Patel [Images] and brought in Ajit Agarkar [Images] in his place in the team. Both pacers have struggled in the series and it remains to be seen how much difference this move would make.
For England, all-rounder Andrew Flintoff [Images] replaced Chris Tremlett, who has also struggled to control the flow of runs in the series.
India tried to get a move along in the early overs to take advantage of winning the toss. Sourav Ganguly [Images] attempted a few big shots, but could not pull them off. The first one went over the slips as he tried to pull pacer Stuart Broad, but the second shot cost his wicket.
The left-hander tried to pull James Anderson, but was beaten for pace and ended up lofting a simple catch to Ian Bell [Images] at square leg for nine in the fourth over of the innings.
That early wicket was a big blow for India and the next pair � Sachin Tendulkar and Dinesh Karthik -- tried to make up for that damage by some cautions batting. Anderson, in particular, gave Tendulkar a lot of trouble outside the off-stump, something he has done right through the tour.
India's start was not the best, having reached 31 for 1 after 10 overs with a total of six boundaries.
There was further trouble when Karthik's promotion failed as he was caught behind off Broad for four. India were reduced to 31 for 2 in the 11th over and their hopes of a quick start were dashed by some fabulous bowling by the England pace bowlers.
Andrew Flintoff, playing on his home ground, then scalped the prized wicket of Rahul Dravid in the next over to leave India reeling at 32 for 3. Flintoff produced a beautiful outswinging delivery, which Dravid was forced to play at, edging it behind to wicketkeeper Matt Prior [Images] for one.
At the other end, Tendulkar took on left-arm spinner Monty Panesar [Images] as soon as he came to bowl with two boundaries in his first over to reach 33, inclusive of seven boundaries.
Flintoff, back in the team after being rested because of swelling in the knee, bowled a magnificent first spell, taking one wicket for eight runs in five overs. Infact, three of over were maidens, mainly to Yuvraj Singh, who had 15 dot balls against Flintoff.
Yuvraj found the going very tough and his first boundary came off the 39th ball he faced against Panesar in the 26th over.
Tendulkar completed his half-century in the 29th over with a single off Collingwood. It was not easy for Tendulkar against a disciplined English attack as he took 81 deliveries to reach his fifty.
Kevin Pietersen [Images] was introduced into the attack in the 30th over and Tendulkar felt this was a great chance to break the shackles. He hit the second ball from Pietersen for a boundary through the third man region as the bowler dropped it short.
But then England's gamble worked as Tendulkar top edged a pull shot. Flintoff at the square leg boundary took an easy catch to send back the master batsman for 55, which came off 86 deliveries and included nine boundaries.
He added 71 runs for the fourth wicket with Yuvraj to lend some stability to the Indian innings, but gave his wicket away at the possibly the wrong time for his team as they were reduced to 103 for 4.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni's [Images] horror run in the ODI series continued as he fell for 13, bowled by a special delivery from Panesar in the 38th over.
Ajit Agarkar was more intent on scoring some runs instead of looking to support Yuvraj. He gave his wicket rather tamely when he fell caught behind off Broad for 6.
Yuvraj reached his half-century in style, when he smashed a huge six over midwicket off Broad. His fifty had taken 90 deliveries, but with wickets falling from the other end, he had no choice but to bat with caution rather than in his natural freeflowing style.
In the same over, he hit Broad for two more boundaries to get 16 off the over as India reached 164 for 6 after 41 overs.
However, Yuvraj's brave resistance came to an end in the 45th over when the young Broad nailed him with a perfect yorker. The left-hander scored 71 from 104 deliveries, hitting five boundaries and a six, but fell as he looked to score some quick runs at the end.
Two balls later, Broad had his fourth wicket of the innings when Powar threw his wicket with a rash pull shot to be dismissed for 7. The 21-year-old, playing in just his 13th ODI, finished with impressive figures of 4 wickets for 51 runs in 10 overs.
Zaheer Khan [Images] added some vital runs, hitting 20 with the help of three boundaries, to take India past the 200-run mark. Anderson finished off the innings with two wickets in the 50th over, that of Zaheer and RP Singh (0).
Piyush Chawla finished unbeaten on 13 as India were bowled out for 212 in 49.4 overs.
In the end, India managed to post a respectable total, but it maybe too little to trouble the high-flying English batting line-up on such a good batting track.
The two young seamers were a revelation with Broad and Anderson claiming 4 for 51 and 3 for 38 respectively to destroy the Indians. Flintoff also bowled his heart out to take 1 for 31 in 10 overs.
For India, the key would be to get a few early wickets and also hope that the in-form Ian Bell falls cheaply. But the England batting line-up that stretches all the way to number eight in Ravi Bopara, they should have no real problems in chasing down this mediocre total.
For India, it was virtually a do or die for they knew that if they lost here then recovering from a 1-3 deficit was next to impossible.
Their best hopes of making a match out of this lay with the pace bowlers. And the pace bowlers certainly did not disappoint.
Zaheer struck off the very first over to give the visitors a flying start when he bowled opener Alastair Cook [Images] through the gate for a duck.
Ajit Agarkar then got Matt Prior caught at third man for 4 as both openers were back in the pavilion in the fourth over of the innings. England were reduced to 14 for 2 in the fourth over and suddenly India were on top even though they were not defending a huge score.
In-form Ian Bell did not last long when he was bowled for 24. The right-hander looked in top form once again as he raced to 24 from 20 deliveries with four boundaries but he offered no shot to an incoming delivery from Agarkar and to his horror the ball swung in to hit the stumps.
In the next over, Zaheer should have got the wicket of Kevin Pietersen leg before wicket, but he was denied by the umpire. Close looks at the replays showed that Pietersen (6) was struck right in front of the stumps, but Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar turned down the huge appeal.
With a few early wickets at the start, the Indians suddenly looked a different side as they seemed more aggressive on the field and even resorted to a lot of chatter with the English batsmen.
Even though England had lost three quick wickets they had maintained a good run rate, having reached 53 for 3 after 10 overs. Pietersen now held the key for England and India were fully focused on getting his wicket as early as possible.
Pietersen and Paul Collingwood [Images] were picking up runs quite easily at a good rate without any problems. The boundaries were also coming regularly as England recovered quite well from those early wickets reaching 77 for 3 after 14 overs.
But against the run of play, England lost the big wicket of Pietersen for 18. The right-hander tried to pull a short delivery from Agarkar in the 15th over, but could only spoon a simple catch to Piyush Chawla at square leg.
Agarkar then struck with another important wicket, that of Andrew Flintoff. The bulky all-rounder tried to smash Agarkar through the off-side but hit it straight to Yuvraj at point. Flintoff was dismissed for 5 as England were left reeling at 94 for 5 in the 17th over.
Ramesh Powar struck with his second delivery when he got Owais Shah caught at short leg for 8 as England were reduced to 110 for 6 in the 22nd over. Captain Collingwood was waging a lone battle from the other end, unbeaten on 45 with seven boundaries, but was losing partners regularly from the other end.
However, it was Collingwood's turn this time when he was run out by RP Singh after a huge mix-up with Ravi Bopara. The England captain made 47 from 55 deliveries, with seven boundaries, but his wicket had put India firmly in the driver's seat.
India were scenting victory now, with all their bowlers on top and England needing another 99 runs with three wickets in hand in 26 overs. India's fielding and bowling had improved quite a lot from the previous matches and they showed a lot of determination and hunger while out on the field.
Bopara and Broad then batted with great purpose and made sure that they did not go down without a fight. And such was their resolve that they didn't let India even the sniff of a wicket, while keeping the runs coming steadily with good running between the wickets.
The spin duo of Powar and Chawla were bowling very well, but the left and right combination made life difficult for the slow bowlers by rotating the strike intelligently.
They brought up their 50-run partnership in the 38th over with Broad contributing 23 and Bopara chipping in with 27. With 12 overs to go, the hosts needed another 48 runs and another wicket at this stage could seal the match in India's favour.
But that wicket didn't come for India as the two youngsters fought it out quite well as the match headed towards a thrilling finish.
India were missing that killing edge at the end as no bowler was able to make an impression against these two batsmen. In a pressure situation, the batsmen held their nerves well, while the bowlers were struggling to keep their team afloat.
Quite deservedly, Broad hit the winning runs as England won the match by three wickets, quite comfortably in the end.
Broad finished unbeaten on 45 from 73 deliveries, inclusive of three boundaries, as England reached 213 for 7 after 48 overs to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the seven-match series.
The young all-rounder added 99 runs for the eighth wicket with Bopara, who also excelled with the bat, finishing unbeaten on 43 from 82 deliveries, with 3 boundaries.
It was all too easy for England at the end as they won the match by 12 balls to spare, with no real pressure on them towards the closing stages.
India not only face the difficult task of winning the remaining matches to win the series, but they also face the prospect of losing Zaheer, who looked suffering from an injury. Even they would be clueless now as to how they can make a comeback in the series as England have outplayed them comprehensively in three of the four matches in the series.