India, England tie in thriller


BANGALORE – India and England tied a thrilling World Cup clash here on Sunday in a match which yielded 676 runs and was adorned by blistering centuries from Sachin Tendulkar and Andrew Strauss. England, chasing a World Cup record 339 to win, finished on 338 for eight having scored 13 off the last over when 14 were needed for victory.
Zaheer Khan’s dramatic three-wicket burst turned the match back in India’s favour after England captain Strauss’s man-of-the-match winning innings of 158. Earlier, India great Tendulkar’s record-breaking 120 saw him become the first man to score five World Cup hundreds. Khan took three wickets for one run in six balls, including two in two, as England slumped from 281 for two to 285 for five.
Tim Bresnan (14) revived England’s innings before he was bowled by leg-spinner Piyush Chawla to leave his side 325 for eight and needing 14 off the last over from Munaf Patel. But Ajmal Shahzad launched Patel for six to leave England needing five from three balls in front of a frenzied crowd at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Shahzad and Graeme Swann ran a single to make the target four from two. They ran two more to leave England requiring two for victory off the last ball. But they managed just a single to produce only the fourth tie in World Cup history. Strauss and Ian Bell (69) put on 170 for the third wicket before Khan had Bell holing out.
Next ball he had Strauss lbw with a brilliant yorker to end the left-handed opener’s 145-ball innings featuring a six and 18 fours that beat his previous one-day best of 154 against Bangladesh last year. Strauss’s was the first hundred by an England captain at the World Cup and the highest score by an England batsman, beating the 137 made by Dennis Amiss against India in the competition’s inaugural match at Lord’s in 1975. England then needed 58 off 43 balls with two fresh batsmen at the crease but they were in the first over of the batting powerplay.
Khan then bowled Paul Collingwood and finished with three for 64. There had been controversy when Strauss and Bell’s partnership was worth just 52. Left-arm spinner Yuvraj Singh thought he had Bell lbw on review for 17, with replays showing the ball would have hit the stumps. Bell had started to walk off but because New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden’s verdict was not out, the decision was returned to him by Australian replay official Rod Tucker and the Kiwi deemed Bell to be too far down the pitch. But he enraged India fans who had seen Bell ‘dismissed’ on the giant replay screens.
An unruffled Strauss advanced to drive Yuvraj for a superb six before Bell completed a 45-ball fifty with a six when he swept leg-spinner Piyush Chawla. Bell was reprieved again on 68, with England 278 for two in the 42nd over, when he was dropped by slip Virat Kohli off Chawla. Earlier, Tendulkar had faced 115 balls with 10 fours and five sixes. Yuvraj ensured there was no respite for England with a quickfire 58.
James Anderson conceded 91 runs in 9.5 overs to give the paceman the most expensive analysis by an England bowler at the World Cup, beating Derek Pringle’s none for 83 against the West Indies at Gujranwala in 1987. But Bresnan picked up several late wickets to finish with career-best figures of five for 48.