England tour of India - Cricket: England sets a target of 218 for India
Published: Saturday, January 26, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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Kanpur: England opener Nick Knight returned to form with a rapid fire 74 in the fourth One-day International against India at the Green Park on Monday.The left-hander's 18th half-century enabled the tourists to post 218 for seven in a match reduced to 39-overs-a-side due to overnight rain and a wet outfield.Knight, who had made only 24 in the last three matches, improvised brilliantly to smash nine boundaries in his 82-ball knock before being caught reverse-sweeping spinner Harbhajan Singh.India managed to check the flow of runs after Knight's dismissal at 144 with seamer Saurav Ganguly and Harbhajan sharing three wickets in the space of 22 runs to reduce the tourists to 166 for six.Harbhajan held a return catch to dismiss skipper Nasser Hussain (15), while Ganguly bowled Michael Vaughan (four) and Paul Collingwood (six). Graham Thorpe, playing his first match of the series, then scored an unbeaten 36 to take England past the 200-run mark after a solid start.Knight's onslaught helped England maintain an impressive run-rate as the tourists raced to 50 off just 46 balls after electing to bat. He led the run-spree with a flurry of shots off seamer Ajit Agarkar, beginning with a cover-driven four and then hitting two more in the seamer's next over.Knight also did not spare Harbhajan, sweeping and then reverse-sweeping for two successive boundaries in the bowler's opening over. India skipper Ganguly promptly brought in leg spinner Anil Kumble in place of Agarkar, who conceded 40 in his five overs.Kumble broke a 71-run stand off 64 balls for the opening wicket when he had Marcus Trescothick (18) caught by Dinesh Mongia at long on, but there was no respite for India.Andrew Flintoff, sent in as a pinch-hitter, hoisted Kumble straight for the first six of the match as England scored 101 off 15 overs. Indians wore black armbands as a mark of respect to batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar's marketing agent, Mark Mascarenhas, who died in a road accident on Sunday.England made one change from the team that lost the third match at Chennai on Friday, including Thorpe in place of an unwell wicket-keeper James Foster.Ganguly, who missed the previous game due to a hamstring injury, returned to lead the squad, while middle-order batsman Mohammad Kaif made his debut.