|Scorecard:||India v England|
|Player:||IR Bell, KP Pietersen, PD Collingwood, A Flintoff, OA Shah, GP Swann, SCJ Broad, MM Patel, Harbhajan Singh, G Gambhir, V Sehwag, SK Raina, RG Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, YK Pathan|
|Event:||England in India 2008/09|
DateLine: 20th November 2008
A day which started on a farcical note with the umpires delaying the game by 45 minutes because of haze.The toss was delayed by 15 minutes and the worst part being the play being delayed by another half an hour.To top it all the break was for half an hour making sure that Duckworth Lewis method came into play in the evening and with Dhoni talking about it right through the day India scraped through.Chasing a target of 241 to win in 49 overs,India ended at 198 for 5 in 40 overs winning by 16 runs.They needed to be 181 at that point of time.
Right from the time England won the toss and elected to bat the Indian captain was thinking ahead of the game.Right at the toss he new that the D/L method will come into play. With the lights becoming an issue the onus was on England to get a huge score after winning the toss. Ravi Bopara was promoted up the order and he along with Bell got England of to a steady start. Bell was extremely aggressive but as it always happens with him he threw it away after a good start.He nicked one to the keeper of Munaf Patel
Pietersen's wicket was the turning point as he came down the track and lifted the ball straight to Zaheer of Harbhajan. It was needless considering the fact that they were going at five an hour.Then there was a mini collapse after that. Collingwood who looks completely out of touch in this series was foxed by a Harbhajan doosra and stumped. Bopara after completing his fifty threw it away getting stumped off Yuvraj.Then Shah along with Flintoff tried to repair the damage but with Flintoff getting trapped in front by Yusuf Pathan, England innings folded for 240 in the 49th over.
India were off to a good start but Gambhir's rush of blood did him in. Coming down the track he was caught at third man off Flintoff. Flintoff was at his aggressive best with the ball sledging Raina.Stuart Broad on the other hand pinned Raina down with a bouncer, and then castled him.Rohit Sharma and Sehwag were involved in a 50 run partnership.Sehwag went on to get to his half century. But their stand was cut short with Rohit Sharma getting caught behind of the off spinner Graeme Swann.
Flintoff was really pumped up. Collingwood caught a stunner of Sehwag. When Flintoff had Dhoni and Yuvraj at the crease he got his A game. Staring at them and giving a mouthfull he was trying to get under the skin.Dhoni was biding his time.He took the powerplay at the right time got 32 runs of 4 overs.That completely changed the complexion of the game with Dhoni and Yuvraj changing gears.But Flintoff did not give up getting stuck into Yuvraj and getting him on the pull.
But India were almost there with Dhoni and Pathan batting sensibly and seeing India through on the basis of the D/L method. Harbhajan was declared the man of the match for his spell of 3 for 31 in 10 overs.In doing so he ended up picking his 200th wicket,that of Owais Shah.
With the ICC not into using the lights and the two boards not agreeing to the usage of lights both teams lost valuable time today. England being on the losing side would feel more hard done than the Indians, whose captain was foreseeing all of this.But the ICC and the authorities need to look into this as the day started farcically and ended on the same note. Being in the entertainment industry and with crowds of about 30000 and stiff competition from 20/20 leagues, ICC needs to be more proactive on these issues so that at the end of the day the paying or the viewing public do not suffer.