In a pulsating final over of the match played at Bangalore’s Chinna Swamy stadium yesterday, the hosts’s duel with England ended in a bizarre tie.
Indian stumper Dhoni won the toss and elected to batting first. At least until the first half of the match, Indians looked to be on the winning side as the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar blasted away to his 47th ODI ton, fifth in the World Cup history. Tendulkar(120) was the mainstay in the Indian mammoth score of 338. Gautam Gambhir, Youvraj Singh made gritty knocks of 51 and 58 runs respectively. Captain MS Dhoni played a cameo innings of 31 while opener Sehwag sped away with 35. India would have added few more runs if not for losing a flurry of wickets toward the end of the innings.
England's bowlers, particularly, James Anderson had a nightmarish match as he earned the dubious record of conceding the most runs(91) by an English bowler in the history of the World Cup. Spinner Graeme Swann could not tighten the rampaging Indian batsmen as his lone wicket came at the cost of 58 runs in 10 overs. However, Tim Bresnan atone for the lapses of his team mates with a five-wicket haul for the beleagured English attack. His 5/48 is truly a remarkable performance in a match dominated by batsmen.
England openers Strauss and Kevin Pietersen gave a rousing start of 68 runs in the first 10 overs. Unmindful of Pieterson's(31) loss, Captain Andrew Strauss, made an unblemished knock of 158, which is his first century in the World Cup. India's insipid attack could not trouble the Barry Army at all as their chinks to defend the huge total were exposed for the second successive time in the world cup. It may be noted that India pulled off a none-impressive 87 run victory over the co-hosts Bangladesh in its preceding match of the tournament.
In fact, the England Captain's intimidating presence threatened to take his team to almost an assured victory. But, Zaheer Khan's three quick wickets during the stages of 44th over turned the pendilum towards the Indian team. Bell, who matched with the abilities of Strauss, was out for 69. However, the late hitting of tail-enders Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, Ahmed Shahzad again tilted the scales in favour of the English team as the leg-spinner Piyush Chawla was taken off for 14 runs in the penultimate over bowled him. Needing 2 runs of the last ball bowled by Munaf Patel, England could manage just one run thereby resulting in the end that the honors were shared between the two teams. Patel, Chawla took two wickets apiece with one wicket going for Harbhajan Singh.
Andrew Strauss was declared Man-of-the-Match for his amazing knock of 158.
In the end, it was an undesired result in the context of the game.
Both India and England's next matches are scheduled against the Irish team on 2nd March and 6th March respectively at the same venue.