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India ease to victory in fifth ODI
September 02, 2007 19:22 IST
Last Updated: September 05, 2007 14:44 IST
India broke their losing streak with a morale-boosting 38-run victory courtesy of the Duckworth-Lewis method in the must-win fifth one-day international to keep their hopes alive in the seven-match series in Leeds on Sunday.
Sachin Tendulkar [Images] (71) at the top and Yuvraj Singh [Images] (72) in the middle order led a perfect batting performance with aggressive half-centuries as India put up a commanding 324 for 6 in the rain-curtailed match at Headingley.
The inclement weather made things even worse for England [Images] as the target was revised to 311 in 45 overs after successive rain-interruptions.
India's surprising bowling hero, however, was Sourav Ganguly [Images] who, after making a well paced 59 at the top, picked the two vital wickets of Matt Prior [Images] and Ian Bell [Images] to put the skids under England's scoring.
After being reduced to 104 for 4 in the 16th over, when players went off the field after the second of three stoppages, England were always lagging behind the par score on the Duckworth-Lewis chart.
And so, despite a fighting 91 not out from skipper Paul Collingwood [Images], England ended up with 242 for 8 in 39 overs, well below the required 280, when the rains forced a third and final halt to proceedings.
England still lead the series 3-2 and the teams move to England where they would play the last two matches, at The Oval (September 5) and Lord's (September 8).
Earlier, Tendulkar hit a 59-ball 71 and shared a 116-run opening stand with Sourav Ganguly (59) while Yuvraj Singh struck a hurricane 72.
Gautam Gambhir [Images] came up with a valuable 51 at number three and featured in a useful 94-run stand with Yuvraj.
India need to win the match to keep their hopes alive in the seven-match series which England lead 3-1.
Both Tendulkar, who struck 13 boundaries in his ferocious knock, and Ganguly overcame a slow start to flay the England bowlers to all parts of the field.
Ganguly changed gears smoothly as he smashed seven boundaries and two sixes in his 79-ball knock.
The duo's 118-ball association was their 19th century stand for the first wicket. Overall this was the 24th century stand between the seasoned pros and it gave their team a rollicking start.
Yuvraj Singh, with 10 fours and two sixes, then piled on the misery for England with a sizzling knock.
Gambhir thrived on two dropped catches to become the fourth batsman in the innings to record a half century.
Play was interrupted after the 47th over by strong drizzle, raising prospects of Duckworth-Lewis chart coming into play later.
England rued the absence of Andrew Flintoff [Images], who was ruled out because of a knee injury, while India were lucky to see Zaheer Khan [Images] pass hit fitness test after injuring his left ankle in the previous game.
Put in to bat, India were off to a slow start scoring just seven runs from the first 5 overs.
However, once Tendulkar exploded in the sixth over of the innings, taking four boundaries off Jonathan Lewis, the openers had a ball.
Tendulkar took nine balls to get off the mark before tearing into Jonathan Lewis. He had a lucky escape on 33 when England wicketkeeper Matt Prior dropped him off a thick outside edge in Paul Collingwood's first over.
He reached his half-century lofting Broad over mid-wicket and celebrated it with another lovely straight drive off the next ball.
Tendulkar continued his feast, employing his delicate paddle sweep to take two consecutive boundaries off Collingwood behind square.
And as England looked to the heavens for solace, the succour came in the form of Tendulkar's wicket in the 20th over.
Having been taken to the cleaners, Lewis redeemed himself in his fourth over when Tendulkar shaped to play between point and third man but succeeded only in getting a thick outside edge and Prior made no mistake to the second offering that came his way.
Ganguly took his time - 12 balls - to trouble the scorers.
But once Tendulkar opened up, he too caught on the spirit, taking the aerial route to deposit Anderson over cover and over mid-on for handy boundaries.
He continued with his adventurous methods pulling Collingwood over mid-on for a six before picking another streaky four off Anderson past the vacant slip. In the next ball, Ganguly played a lovely cover drive for his second consecutive boundary of the over.
Ganguly then hit his second six depositing Lewis high over the mid-wicket fence.
However, his intent to give a similar treatment to Monty Panesar [Images] ended in a disaster.
Ganguly danced down the wicket to the left-arm spinner in his very first over but couldn't get his timing right and was well taken on the fence by Alastair Cook [Images].
Gambhir made the most of yet another opportunity given to him excelling with his cut and pulls.
He was lucky to be dropped on 19 and on 40 but he made the most of his stay at the wicket by proving excellent support to Yuvraj Singh in a vital third-wicket stand.
He reached his 50 off 64 balls with 5 fours but was out soon after pulling Broad to substitute Gale at mid-wicket. Yuvraj Singh then took the English bowling by the scruff of its neck.
Having warmed up the task with a fine cover drive off Collingwood, Yuvraj took a heavy toll of Panesar, cutting and cover driving him for fours.
A pulled six off Panesar gave him his 30th one-day half century.
He seemed to raise a toast with a boundary past mid-on off the very next ball before hitting Lewis for his second six over square leg.
He finally fell in the 45th over trying to hit Collingwood for another six and was caught right on the long-on fence by Anderson for 72.