India hammer England by 158 runs in the first ODI
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 14th November 2008
England were given the first taste of subcontinent conditions when they played their first ODI here in Rajkot. Fast outfields, flat tracks, small grounds and an inform India. Above all Yuvraj Singh. Chasing 388 to win England were bowled out for meagre score of 229 in 37. 3 overs.
Yuvraj's belligerent 9th ODI hundred powered India to 387 for 5 in their 50 overs. India started the day well after Pietersen won the toss and elected to bowl. Sehwag and Gambhir continued from where they left against Australia. There was something in the pitch for the fast bowlers early on because of the moisture. But it did not seem to affect them in any way. They rattled
along at six an over. The partnership for the first wicket was 127 before Gambhir threw it away after completing his half century. He was caught in the deep going for a big one of Samit Patel. During the course of this knock Gambhir went past 2000 ODI runs. Sehwag was unstoppable lofting Collingwoood for 2 huge sixes of consecutive deliveries. Then after scoring eighteen runs in one over of Samit Patel he gave it away trying for one too
many and getting out to a brilliant catch by Bell of Samit Patel. He was out for 85.
In walked Yuvraj after losing his vice captaincy to Sehwag. He and Raina took some time to settle down. But once they did it was carnage. Yuvraj was bothered by back spasms and he had to have a runner in Gautam Gambhir. Then Dhoni took the batting Power Play and Yuvraj went berserk. He was like a wounded tiger. Stripped of his vice captaincy, seeing Sehwag score 85 and losing
his test spot. He really was on the prowl. The Powerplay freed him totally and it was raining fours and sixes. Raina was out but it was Dhoni who was the perfect foil. He and Yuvraj had a century partnership. Yuvraj went to the second fastest hundred by an Indian of 64 balls, missing Azhar's record of 62 balls, 20 years back against New Zealand, but scoring the fastest hundred ever against England. He finally ended with 138 unbeaten of 78 balls. With a bad back it was really a fantastic knock. India ended 50 overs at 387 for 5.
Chasing 388 England were rocked early by Zaheer Khan and were 38 for 4 at one stage. He took three early wickets including that of Flintoff in his 150th ODI. The match was over then and there but for Pietersen and Bopara's Pyrotechnics. They just hammered the spinners. Harbhajan, Sehwag and Yusuf Pathan were taken to the cleaners but a misunderstanding between Bopara and Pietersen, did Pietersen in. He was run out for a well made half century. Bopara also got after the spinners and went on to get a half century. It was too little as England suffered one of its heaviest defeats.