Bangalore, Feb 27: England pulled off some last-minute stunts to hold India to a tie in their nail-biting World Cup match at Bangalore. With England requiring 32 runs off the last 15 balls, it looked like a resurgent India had the game in the bag. But some gutsy hitting from Graeme Swann (15*), Tim Bresnan (14) and Ajmal Shahzad (6*) brought England to the door of victory. Earlier captain and opener Andrew Strauss (158) and Ian Bell (69) were taking the match away from India, before Zaheer Khan pegged England back with some telling blows. Zaheer finished with 3/64.
Following the half-way point in their innings with the score at 163/2, England kicked on in the same vein. Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell aggressively pushed for ones and twos and knocked off more boundaries than India would have liked to concede. In the 28th over, the batting duo each hit Pathan for a four and in the next over, Strauss flayed Yuvraj for another boundary.
Then Bell got into the act, striking Zaheer for two fours, before Strauss lauched Yuvraj for a six. Then in the 34th over, Bell carted Chawla for a six and a four as England climbed to 229/2 in 34 overs. Then in the 37th over, Bell took a single off Patel to bring up England's 250.
The batting duo motored along without any problems. In the 40th over, Strauss smacked Chawla for a four to bring up his 150. But in the 43rd over, Zaheer gave India some hope when he dimissed Bell for 69 and Strauss for 158 in successive deliveries. At the end of that over, England needed 58 off 42 balls to win. Then in the 45th over, with England requiring 54 off 34, Zaheer bowled Collingwood for 1. England were 285/5 in 44.3 overs.
Then Harbhajan struck to remove Prior for 4 off 8. But Yardy tried to keep the impetus going for England by immediately hitting a four. 10 runs came of that the 46th over, with England nhow needing 42 off 24. But two overs later, Munaf came to teh party when he had Yardy caught by Virender Sehwag. England were 307/7 in 47.3 overs.
Then giving England a sniff, Bresnan ajnd Swann each knocked a six off Chawla before the bowler came back to bowl the latter for 14 off 9. England needed 13 runs off the last over with Shahzad hitting a six and Swann taking a coupkle of doubles to end the match in a tie!
England's innings began in swift fashion with captain Andrew Strauss pulling a Sehwag on India. He struck Zaheer for two fours in the first over before he and Kevinn Pietersen each knocked a boundary off Munaf Patel in the next. In the 6th over, Harbhajan Singh missed a tough catching opportunity from Strauss off the bowling of Munaf, the ball sneaking through for a four. England had moved onto 36/0 in 6 overs.
Then the batting duo picked Zaheer for 13 runs in the 7th over and in the next, Strauss took a single off Patel to bring up England's fifty. In the 9th over, Pietersen carted Zaheer for two more fours, one backward of point and the other, past fine leg. Munaf then conceded 14 runs off the 10th over, but also picked up the key wicket of Pietersen, courtesy a fantastic caught and bowled. England were 77/1 in 10 overs.
Strauss picked a single of Harbhajan in the 14th over to notch up his fifty and in the same over, Trott ran a run to bring up England's 100. A short while later, leg-spinner Piyush Chawla got the breakthrough when he trapped Jonathan Trott in front for 16 off 19 with the score now reading 111/2 in 16.4 overs.
But Strauss and the new batsman Ian Bell weren't about to back down, taking 7 runs of Bhajji in the 18th over and 10 runs of Chawla in the 19th over. After just taking the ones and two and welcoming the occasional boundary, Strauss tickled Yusuf Pathan fine for a four to bring up England's 150 in the 23rd over.