Sunday, February 27, 2011

World Cup 2011 : India vs England...

India against England today at Bangalore - expected to a big match & what a humdinger it turned out to be.

Dhoni won the toss & as expected decided to bat first, with Sachin & Sehwag coming in to start the innings. Sehwag was circumspect today & his timing was not the best. But he batted the way he does & after a quickfire 35of 26 deliveries, he nicked Bresnan behind, with the score reading 46 for 1 in the 8th over. Next man Gambhir, however settled down quickly & looked to hit over the top, with regularity. 50 came up in the 9th over & the drinks, the score was 96 for 1 in 17 overs. Sachin looked sublime, & hit the first six of the match, straight over the bowler's head, into the stands.....100 up for the team at almost a run a ball, with the crowd going wild. The partnership prospered & by the time Gambhir was bowled by Swann in the 30th over, he had made his half century. 200 for India came in 34th over, 250 in the 41st over & 300 in the 46th, as runs just flowed. Sachin went on to register yet another century, which included 5 sixes, timing the ball as sweetly as ever. This was his 5th century in the World Cup, most by any batsmen, & his 47th ODI ton. A vintage performance indeed....
Yuvi too contributed with a half century & Dhoni also hit well. When Yuvi got out in the 46th over, it was 305 for 4 & with Pathan & Virat to come in, we all were looking at some real fireworks. However, Tim Bresnan bowled his heart out & caused a mini collapse, folding the Indian innings for 338 all out, still a very formidable total to chase. India should have got at least 25-30 runs more, but still a big total. While all other bowlers were spanked all over the park, Bresnan ended with 5 for 48 in his 10 overs. Anderson gave 91 runs in his 10 overs, probably the highest ever by an English bowler in the World Cup.

For the chase, Kevin Peiterson strolled in with Captain Andrew Strauss for England, & the first delivery was clipped to the square leg boundary, as Zaheer opened the Indian attack. The pair looked steady & purposeful, as they combined aggression with caution, taking the score to 68 before Munaf Patel took a blinder return catch to dismiss the ever dangerous Peiterson. In came Trott & immediately settled down with his Skipper. Spin introduced in the 11th over, with Chawla & Bhajji at both ends. At drinks, at the end of 16th over, the score read 110 for 1, with Strauss having reached his fifty. The scoring was doing a healthy 6.79 run rate. But just after the drinks, Piyush Chawla got the breakthrough, getting Trott plumb in front of the wicket. The turning point in the game was probably in the 25th over, when Ian Bell survived a LBW appeal to Yuvi. India's review appeal was put down as the impact was more than 2.5 meters from the stumps. A technical error, but the ball was surely hitting the stumps, according to the hawk eye.
This let off probably got England the momentum, & both the batsmen punished the Indian bowling. Straus got his hundred & then his 150, as bell got to his half century. at the end of 40 overs, England were well on course of their target with 272 for 2. They needed another 67 runs off the last 10 overs....very very gettable.
Batting powerplay was taken in the 43rd over, with every Indian on the ground begging for a wicket. Zaheer provided with the much needed breakthrough, getting Bell caught by Kohli for an excellent In the very next delivery Zaheer got Strauss out LBW as well...score 281 for 4. Strauss gone for a magnificent 158 Zaheer had brought India back in the match.  With fielders brought in singles became difficult to get & the pressure was back eith England, as the crowd roared. Zaheer in his next over, bowled Collingwood & the game was slowly drifting away from England. All in the spate of 3 overs.....just 5 runs & three crucial wickets. The Powerplay had got England only 25 runs at the cost of 4 crucial wickets. Yardy was the next to go, caught by Sehwag off Patel. Score 307 for 7. In the 49th over, Bresnan took on to Chawla & hit two sixes, but got bowled in the last delivery. A good cameo of 14 from 9 deliveries.
Last over with 14 runs to win. Shahzad & Swann managed 12 off 5 deliveries & needed 2 runs in the last ball. Finally the score ended at 338 for 8....a tie !!!
A match which India just managed to escape with a tie & the English team managed not to win. The best game of the tournament till now.

Man of the Match : Andrew Strauss for his outstanding 158 runs, which brought England an almost improbable victory.