India’s woes continue as they lose by nine runs in 1st ODI

India’s woeful run of losses continued after a struggling top-order failed to convert good starts even on a placid track as England drew first blood with a thrilling nine-run victory in the first cricket one dayer here on Friday.

Chasing a stiff target of 326, India lacked the batting firepower and were restricted to a 316 for nine in a high-scoring contest to concede a 1-0 lead to visitors in the five-match series.

Opting to bat first, England rode on a record 158-run opening stand between captain Alastair Cook (75) and in-form Ian Bell (85) to post an imposing 325 for four on a batting paradise at the newly built Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

The Indians conceded as many as 38 runs in the final two overs with Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar giving away 20 and 18 runs respectively. The late flourish by England proved costly for the hosts.

India began the run chase in right earnest with Ajinkya Rahane (47) and an out-of-form Gautam Gambhir (52) adding 96 runs for the opening stand but both were guilty of frittering away a good start.

Yuvraj Singh (61), Suresh Raina (50) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (32) were other notable scorers but again none of them could translate the start into a match—winning effort.

Off-spinner James Tredwell was the pick of the English bowlers as he scalped four for 44 while Jade Dernbach chipped in with two wickets.

But Raina’s departure in the 42nd over followed by the successive dismissals of skipper Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja in the 45th over virtually sealed India’s fate.

The rest of the batsmen were not up to the task of scoring the remaining runs though Ravichandran Ashwin (13) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (20 not out) brought the hosts closer to the target with a partnership of 24 for the 8th wicket but the target proved just beyond reach.

The victory is England’s 14th in 41 ties between the two teams in this country.

Earlier, opting to bat first, England were powered by a record century partnership between captain Cook and Bell, who both scored impressive half centuries after the visitors chose to bat first.

Cook and Bell compiled 158 runs for the first wicket breaking a 30-year record for England against the hosts in the process to lay a fine platform on a placid track.

Left—handed Cook made 75 in 84 balls with 11 fours and a six while his right handed partner was slightly more aggressive in making 85 off 95 balls with nine fours and one six.

The duo were out in quick succession just past the halfway stage of the innings but the good work of the openers was continued by latter order batsmen Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan.

Pietersen (44 in 45 balls) and Eoin Morgan (41 in 38 balls) put on a breezy third wicket stand of 76 runs in 9.5 overs before both fell in 12 balls to Ashok Dinda.

However, Samit Patel smashed 44 not out in 16 balls, with six fours and a six, and added 70 runs in the last six overs with Craig Kieswetter who remained unbeaten on 24 off 20 balls with a four and two sixes.

It was a creditable turnaround for the visitors who came into match with back-to-back defeats in the warm-up games against India A and Delhi respectively.

The two teams will now travel to Kochi for the second one-dayer to be held on January 15.

India innings

Ajinkya Rahane c Dernbach b Tredwell 47

Gautam Gambhir c Bell b Tredwell 52

Virat Kohli c Kieswetter b Bresnan 15

Yuvraj Singh c Dernbach b Tredwell 61

Suresh Raina c & b Tredwell 50

M S Dhoni c Root b Dernbach 32

Ravindra Jadeja b Dernbach 7

Ravichandran Ashwin c Kieswetter b Finn 13

Bhuvneshwar Kumar not out 20

Ashok Dinda b Bresnan 3

Ishant Sharma not out 7

Extras: (LB—1, W—7, NB—1) 9

TOTAL: (for 9 wickets in 50 overs) 316

Fall of wickets: 1—96, 2—102, 3—138, 4—198, 5—243, 6—271, 7—273, 8—297, 9—307

Bowling: Steven Finn 10—0—63—1, Jade Dernbach 10—0—69—2, Tim Bresnan 8—0—67—2, James Tredwell 10—0—44—4, Joe Root 9—0—51—0, Samit Patel 3—0—21—0.

(This article was published on January 11, 2013)
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