Opting to bat first, England got a sedate start with openers Andrew Strauss (61) and Matt Prior (33) adopting a cautious approach and shunning extravaganza. Rahul Dravid soon opted for a two-prong spin attack, introducing Harbhajan Singh in the 12th over and Ramesh Powar was seen bowling in tandem.
The burly Mumbai spinner almost did the trick when he induced Strauss to a drive but he grassed the opportunity.
Harbhajan drew first blood in the 16th over when Prior misread a delivery that caught him plumb in front and England were 66 for one.
Owais Shah (0) returned soon to a dubious decision for it seemed to only kiss his pad before nestling into Mahendra Singh Dhonis gloves but umpire AV Jayaprakash decided the batsman had to go.
Despite coach Duncan Fletcher's repeated warnings, Kevin Pietersen (71) started off with a sweep off Harbhajan, uppishly drove Powar that almost carried to Suresh Raina and then Mohammad Kaif almost took a blinder but in the end, the batsman survived.
Meanwhile, a sudden rush of blood did Strauss in as he stepped out to hit Powar and was bowled through his gates. His 61-run knock came off 72 balls and included six hits to the fence.
Andrew Flintoff (5) committed hara-kiri when he stepped out to hit Powar out of the park and Dhoni stumped him with a world of time at his disposal. Paul Collingwood (5) too proved a poor judge and quest for a non-existent run brought his doom as Dhoni was bang on with his throw.