हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Indians stutter after brilliant start, reach 250 for nine

Published: Thursday, February 27, 2003, 4:03 [IST]
 
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England bowler Flintoff being congratulated on taking the wicket of hard-hitting Virender Sehwag Durban: Rahul Dravid's 62 got India up to a competitive 250 for nine from 50 overs in its World Cup clash against England on Wednesday. Dravid, who found runs hard to come by for much of his innings, reached fifty with a six off James Anderson before he was eventually out in the last over, caught at long- on by Paul Collingwood off Andrew Caddick. That was the start of a mini-collapse that saw India lose four wickets off the last four balls of the innings, including a run-out.

Earlier Andrew Flintoff's miserly unchanged spell of two for 15 in 10 overs stifled the innings and also included the prize wicket of Sachin Tendulkar - who made 50 - when the master batsman was on course for a hundred. India, 91 for one after 15 overs following captain Sourav Ganguly's decision to bat first, seemed set for a huge score in this group A day-night encounter. But, as the Kingsmead floodlights brightened, India's innings dimmed, just 40 runs coming in the next 15 overs for the loss of two wickets as batsmen struggled to time the ball.

However, Yuvraj Singh - who made a vital 69 in India's one day final win against England in July - added late impetus with a 38-ball 42 before he was caught at short extra-cover by England captain Nasser Hussain off Anderson. Earlier England almost had Tendulkar out in single figures. On eight, his miscontrolled hook shot against Caddick flew down to fine leg but Anderson's sprawling dive was too late to claim the catch. Tendulkar punished Caddick and hooked the Somerset quick out of the ground for six.

But all-rounder Flintoff made the breakthrough. His fifth ball induced a leading edge from Virender Sehwag (23) and he took the simple return catch to make India 60 for one in the 10th over. Tendulkar's fifty came at a run-a-ball, including one six and eight fours. But his innings lasted just two more balls as he failed to keep down a drive against Flintoff and was caught by Collingwood at backward point. Ganguly (19) tried to break free by hitting White over the top but was caught by Marcus Trescothick at mid-off. Copyright AFP 2001

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