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Ton-up Yuvraj flays England attack at Goa

Published: Monday, April 3, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Goa:Yuvraj Singh hammered an explosive century as India posted a challenging 294 for 6 in the third One-day international against England.

The 24-year-old smashed three sixes and 10 fours in his 77-ball 103, his seventh hundred in One-dayers, to brighten his team's chances of gaining a 3-0 lead in the seven-match series.

England, who lost the first two matches at Delhi and Faridabad, now face a stiff task on a slow track in hot and humid conditions. They are already without ace batsman Kevin Pietersen due to illness.

India, electing to bat, had slipped from a healthy 105-1 to 131-4 before left-handed Yuvraj and teenager Suresh Raina put the England attack to the sword with a 142-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

The stand surpassed the previous fifth-wicket record for India-England One-dayers of 131 between Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj at Lord's in 2002.

Raina, 19, cracked a 67-ball 61 with one six and five fours for his second successive half-century following his match-winning 81 not out in the previous game at Faridabad.

Yuvraj and Raina dominated the England attack in the closing stages with a wide range of shots to help their team plunder 98 in the last 10 overs.

Fast bowler Andrew Flintoff finished with 3-56 while left-arm spinner Ian Blackwell was the most economical as he conceded 42 in his 10 overs.

India had lost Virender Sehwag (15), bowled by James Anderson in the seventh over. But Dravid and Irfan Pathan put on 78 for the second wicket to steady the innings.

India were strongly placed at 105-1 before losing three wickets in the space of six overs.

Paul Collingwood dismissed skipper Dravid, who inside-edged a delivery on to his stumps after making a neat 46 with six fours.

Left-handed Pathan (36), promoted in the batting order, also failed to capitalise on a good start. He was caught by Collingwood at backward point while driving Flintoff.

Mohammad Kaif's poor run with the bat continued as he fell for a second successive duck, caught behind off Liam Plunkett. He has not reached double figures in his seven innings.

England had a chance to put more pressure on India but Raina survived a stumping chance off Blackwell. The batsman was on 13 when wicket-keeper Geraint Jones failed to gather the ball which kept slightly low.

Raina settled down soon and went on to give Yuvraj valuable support.

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