England tour of India - Cricket: Knights ton propels England to 271

Published: Thursday, January 31, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi: India slackened its initial grip on the match as opener Nick Knight led England to an imposing 271 for five in its allotted 50 overs in the fifth One-day International here on Thursday.Knight scored a brilliant 105 off 131 balls with seven fours and was associated in two solid partnerships with captain Nasser Hussain and Andrew Flintoff as Saurav Ganguly's ploy of putting the opposition in did not seem to have borne the desired results. India had started off well restricting the England scoring in the initial overs but Knight who had failed in the first three matches before impressing in Kanpur, and Flintoff clobbered the Indian attack during the later part of theinnings.Flintoff smashed 52 runs off just 39 balls with six fours and a six and India seemed to have lost its way towards the end.Leg spinner Anil Kumble was the most impressive of the Indian bowlers though he went wicketless in his ten overs conceding 37 runs. Ajit Agarkar picked up two wickets for 62 while Javagal Srinath and Sachin Tendulkar claimed one wicket each. Srinath and Agarkar gave a fine start to India, the first ten overs going for only 42 runs. The major reason for England not getting off to a flyer was the impressive fielding performance by the Indians. Agarkar did go for a few boundaries but Srinath kept things tight from the other end. A majority of England runs were obtained square to the wicket on both sides with both Knight and Trescothick finding it difficult to drive the ball.The two put on 57 runs before Agarkar struck in the last over of his first spell. Trescothick checked his drive at the last moment realising the ball was slightly short but could not keep it down and Sarandeep Singh took a good low catch at mid-off. Trescothick's 36 came of 49 balls and contained fivefours.That brought Hussain and Knight together and they slowly built up the innings without being very aggressive. The introduction of Sarandeep in the 14th over saw the Englishmen opening up a bit. The two batsmen were able to read the young off spinner, who replaced Harbhajan Singh as the only change in the Indian team, quite well and picked easy runs of him. PTI


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