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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

India move ahead with 5-0 lead

As captain MS Dhoni had promised, there was no dip in the intensity level after the series win and India comfortably won the fifth ODI against England by 6 wickets in Cuttack.After a blistering start from Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, India lost the momentum a bit as they lost three wickets in quick succession, but then Dhoni along with Suresh Raina consolidated India's position. Dhoni (50) added 94 runs for the fourth wicket and also raised his 25th ODI fifty before Graeme Sawnn trapped him in front of the wicket. After the captain's dismissal, Raina and Rohit Sharma saw their side home with 38 balls to spare.England pacer Steve Harmison gave their side the first breakthrough as he dismissed Sachin Tendulkar for 50 runs. Sachin tried to play a good length delivery towards the cover but missed it and the ball crashed into the stumps. The master blaster became the first batsman to raise 90th one-day half-century. He added 136 runs for the first wicket with Sehwag for the first wicket. The duo achieved this feat for the tenth time in a row. Yuvraj Singh was the second Indian to depart as he perished to a soft dismissal from Ravi Bopara for 6 runs. Bopara took a simple catch in the follow through to see the Punjab dasher back in the hut. Sehwag missed out on his ton as Stuart Broad caught him plumb in front for 91 runs. In his 73-ball long innings, Sehwag slammed fifteen fours and a six to raise 33rd ODI fifty, his seventh against England. Earlier riding on their captain's knock, England made 270 runs at the loss of four wickets. Electing to bowl first, India started off nicely as pacer Zaheer Khan struck twice to dismiss openers Alistair Cook and Ravi Bopara. Cook was first to depart, as a good length delivery that was going outside the off-stump took an outside edge of his bat and landed in the hands of Tendulkar at the first slip. He could make just 10 runs.

His opening partner Bopara survived a scare but finally perished for 24 runs. He tried to play it up but went straight to Yuvraj Singh standing at the backward point.

Kevin Pietersen (111*), who came after Cook's departure, held the fort for his side. He first had an 89-run partnership with Paul Collingwood for the third wicket. Harbhajan broke their partnership as the latter holed out one in the deep to Zaheer Khan for 40 runs. In the next over of Ishant Sharma, new man Flintoff edged one to Sachin Tendulkar at slips without any addition to the score.

Pietersen was then joined by Owais Shah (66*) and the duo had an unbeaten partnership of 112 runs for the fifth wicket. While Pietersen raised seventh hundred, his second against India, Shah got his ninth ODI fifty. In the process, KP also completed 3000 ODI runs for England when he was on the score of 58.

India: MS Dhoni (Captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma.

England: Kevin Pietersen (Captain), Alistair Cook, Ravi Bopara, Owais Shah, Andrew Flintoff, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior, Samit Patel, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Steve Harmison.


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