England crash to their lowest total against India

Published: Sunday, October 15, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Jaipur:Seamers Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan shared five early wickets as England crashed to their lowest-ever total of 125 against India in a Champions Trophy match.

England's previous lowest against India in one-day internationals was 149 in a World championship match at Sydney in 1985.

Patel and Pathan required less than 13 overs to put pressure on a new-look England batting order, reducing the tourists to 27-4 after India captain Rahul Dravid had elected to field in the opening Group-A match.

England could never recover from a hat-trick of lbws, with Ian Bell, skipper Andrew Flintoff and Michael Yardy failing to reach double-figures against an incisive pace attack.

Patel finished with 3-18, while left-arm seamer Pathan bagged 2-20 after being out of form since the West Indies tour in May. Off-spinner Ramesh Powar grabbed three of the last five wickets.

All-rounder Paul Collingwood top-scored with 38 in a dismal England batting performance. He put on 49 for the sixth wicket with Jamie Dalrymple (24), the highest stand of the innings.

India, under pressure after winning just two of their last nine one-dayers, were fortunate to run into an England side struggling in the shorter version of the game in recent months.

England had caved in even before Dravid introduced his spinners, who were expected to play a key role in the contest. Off-spinners Harbhajan Singh and Powar came in to bowl after England were wobbling at 55-5.

England, missing key batsmen Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick, were jolted in the fourth over when make-shift opener Bell was trapped leg-before by Patel.

The tourists suffered a big blow when Flintoff fell for a duck in his first match in six months due to an ankle injury. The England skipper promoted himself in the batting order, but could last just seven balls.

Yardy contributed four runs before falling to Patel while Strauss was brilliantly held by Dravid at second slip off Pathan.

Hard-hitting Kevin Pietersen and Collingwood added 28 for the fifth wicket before Patel ended the brief recovery.

Pietersen fell to a low catch at first slip by Sachin Tendulkar after making 27, while Collingwood was caught by wicket-keeper Mahendra Dhoni off Powar after hitting six fours in his 54-ball knock.

Tendulkar made his 368th appearance, a record in one-day internationals. Suspended Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq and Sri Lankan opener Sanath Jayasuriya are just one match behind the Indian.

World champions Australia and the West Indies are other teams in this group, with the top two advancing to the semi-finals. South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are in Group B.


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