Bangalore, Feb 27: Chasing India's 338, England are moving along smoothly at 163/2 in 25 overs with English captain Andrew Strauss leading from the front with an unbeaten 92 and getting ample assistance from Ian Bell who is not out on 17.
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 Kevin 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.