India deserves to lose, but somehow managed to tie its crucial encounter against England and top the table on sheer run-quotient. Perhaps, it is the second tie match in the world cups. If Australia, who tied its match against South Africa in their respective group match and went on to win the 1999 world cup, then the question now is who will be the luckiest team to make it to world cup finals – England or India?
England skipper Andre Starauss deservies all praise for his scintillating knock of 158 o 145 balls as it was chasing a target of India’s 339, just fell one short of win in the Group B ICC World Cup match at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru. England toiled to score 338 for 8 off 50 overs in reply to the same score by India in 49.5 overs in a nerve-wracking encounter.
And, Strauss deserves to be declared as Man of the Match as he with Ian Bell (69 off 71 balls) added 170 runs in an excellent time as England thratened to run away with the match, chasing down the highest total ever in World Cups..
For India, it was Zaheer Khan, who took two wickets in two balls as Strauss followed Bell at the score of 281 and four runs later, in the next over, Zaheer bowled Paul Collingwood for 1.
Experienced Harbhajan Singh got Matt Prior caught for 4 runs when the asking rate suddenly went over 10 an over with just four wickets left.
Michael Yardy, the only batsman left in the English side, capable of carrying them home, was caught ny Sehwag off Munaf Patel for 13. This left England 31 to get off 15 overs.
Graeme Swann hit a six and Tim Bresnan another, off Piyush Chawla in the 49th over before the latter was bowled off the last ball for14 off 9 balls, leaving 14 to get off the last over.
Ajmal Shahzad hit the fourth ball of Munaf Patel’s last over for a six as England needed 2 runs off the last ball to win.
Graeme Swann hit a single to tie a nail-biting match off the last ball.
Opening the England innings, Kevin Pietersen fell for 31, caught and bowled Munaf Patel and Jonathan Trott followed for 16 off 19 balls, LBW Chawla, as England set off chasing the mammoth total.
Earlier, Sachin Tendulkar scored his 47th ODI century, his fifth in World Cups and 98th International century overall, as India scored 338 all out in 49.5 overs.
Sachin Tendulkar blasted a majestic 120 off 115 balls with 10 fours and 5 sixes as he set up an excellent platform for incoming batsmen to build on. Sachin was especially severe on Graeme Swann, who the English tout as the ‘best spinner in the world’.
Yuvraj Singh (58 off 50 balls with 9 fours) and MS Dhoni (31 off 25 balls with 3 fours and a six) accelerated after Sachin fell, caught off a leading edge by Michael Yardy, off a very profligate James Anderson.
Yuvraj and Dhoni added 69 for the fourth wicket after they came together in the 39th over at the score of 236 for 3, before the former fell to a catch in the deep off Yardy and the latter fell off the next ball, caught by substitute Luke Wright off Bresnan.
Yusuf Pathan and Virat Kohli came together in the 47th over, with the score at 305 for 5. Pathan (14 off 8 balls) hit a four and a six off Anderson before he fell, going for another big hit off Bresnan and Virat Kohli (8 off 5 balls) was bowled off the next ball by the burly seamer. India was faltering at the end, falling to 327 for 7 from 305 for 3. Bresnan missed a hat-trick, but got his fifth wicket as Harbhajan fell a run later for a golden duck after an Umpire Review.
Zaheer Khan and Piyush Chawla were run out in the last eight balls as India ended with a massive 338.
Among England bowlers, Bresnan was the pick with 5 wickets for 46 off 10 overs while James Anderson picked up one wicket for 91 off his 10 overs.
At the start of the Indian innings, Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir took India to 180 in 29.4 overs before the latter became the second Indian wicket to fall, after scoring 51, adding 134 in the team total.
England got rid of Virender Sehwag for 35 off 26 balls with 6 fours, caught brilliantly behind the wickets by Matt Prior off Tim Bresnan, leaving India 46 for 1 in the eighth over after Indian captain MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat
India made one change to the side that beat Bangaldesh in the first match, replacing S. Sreesanth with leg-spinner Piyush Chawla.
England made two changes from the team that beat the Netherlands. They included left-arm spinner Michael Yardy and Ajmal Shahzad, leaving out indisposed fast bowler Stuart Broad and batsman Ravi Bopara.