Thu, Aug 23, 2007 - Page 19 News List

England trounce India in ODI

MASSIVE ATTACK England captain Paul Collingwood called it `a near-perfect performance' with centuries from two of his batsmen proving too much for India


England cricketer Alistair Cook, left, celebrates scoring a century against India with teammate Ian Bell during the first NatWest One Day International match at the Rosebowl in Hampshire, southwest England, on Tuesday.


England defeated India by 104 runs with maiden centuries from Alastair Cook and Ian Bell and a four-wicket haul from fast bowler James Anderson in the first of seven one-day internationals on Tuesday.

England set India a target of 289 to win at the Rose Bowl after being sent in to bat first and India could make only 184 in return.

"It was a near-perfect performance -- but let's not get too carried away," England captain Paul Collingwood told said. "Today was fantastic, to have two centuries and then the bowlers coming out and sticking to their task -- but we have six games left."

Cook made 102 with Bell in a 178-run partnership for England's second wicket. Bell made an unbeaten 126 off 118 balls.

India struggled in its reply, stumbling to 34 for four wickets by the 12th over, with Anderson taking three of them. A spell of 3-19 helped Anderson move to 102 ODI wickets in his 70th match. He finished with figures of 4-23.

Anderson dismissed opener Sachin Tendulkar for 17, Gautam Gambhir for 3 and Youvrav Singh for nought.

Monty Panesar had run out Sourav Ganguly (2) for England's first wicket.

Andrew Flintoff marked his return to the England one-day team after four months out with an ankle injury with the wicket of Mahendra Dhoni Singh for 19.

Singh hit a bouncer from Flintoff with his glove into the hands of wicketkeeper Matthew Prior. Singh had steadied India by adding 68 runs with captain Rahul Dravid to reach 102-5.

Eight balls and three balls later, Dravid was out when Prior dived to catch him as he attempted to sweep a shot. He had topscored with 46, with two boundaries and a six.

Agit Agarkar and Piyush Chawla were both run out, and Anderson completed his innings by bowling tailender Zaheer Khan for 20.

Dinesh Karthik finished unbeaten on 44.

"I don't think we came to the party at all -- we didn't play cricket," Dravid said. "We were out-batted, out-bowled and out-fielded. We have to play a lot better if we are to have a say in this series."

England cautiously built its innings after the departure of opener Prior (19) and was 108-1 halfway through its 50 overs.

But Cook and Bell increased the pace, reaching the 200 mark in the 39th over.

Cook surpassed his previous one-day best score of 41 with a four through mid-on off a delivery from Rudra Pratap Singh. He reached his maiden half century off 74 balls with a single off Ganguly.

Cook hit a four over midwicket to reach 99 and then a single through the covers for his first ODI century. He made two more runs before he was bowled by Rudra Pratap Singh, leaving England on 221-2.

Bell had been the more aggressive batsman of the partnership, and reached his 50 off 53 balls in the 29th over with four through long-leg off Tendulkar and reached 101 off 100 balls.

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