Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: Mistakes Are Downfall as India Triumph; Bad Judgement and Illness Halt England Victory Bid

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: Mistakes Are Downfall as India Triumph; Bad Judgement and Illness Halt England Victory Bid

Article excerpt

Byline: MYLES HODGSON

ENGLAND missed their chance to wrap up the NatWest Series after depleted resources and a series of missed chances enabled India to claim a comprehensive victory at Headingley, writes MYLES HODGSON.

Needing to win to claim an unassailable 4-1 lead in the sevenmatch series, England appeared to have the momentum after successive wins at Edgbaston and Old Trafford .

But the loss of key all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who was ruled out with a recurrence of problems in his left ankle, and Ravi Bopara's influence being reduced with a dislocated right thumb contributed to their downfall as India bounced back with a 38-run triumph under the Duckworth Lewis method.

Deciding to bowl first in seamerfriendly conditions, England opted to break up their successful new ball partnership and allow Jon Lewis to open the bowling with James Anderson.

It was an experiment which backfired with Lewis conceding 63 runs in his 10 overs and Stuart Broad, demoted to first change despite his man-of-the-match display at Old Trafford, was hammered for 84 runs in his 10 overs.

With England also dropping five catches, it allowed India to pile up an impressive total of 321-6 despite an interruption with three overs remaining for rain.

Their total mirrored England's score of 321-7 against Sri Lanka at the same ground a year ago when the tourists cruised to an eightwicket triumph with 12.3 overs remaining.

Restricted for the first five overs of the innings, when they scored only seven runs, Sachin Tendulkar signalled the start of India's run spree in the next over by hitting four boundaries off five balls from Lewis.

Tendulkar went on to hit a magical 71 off 59 balls, an innings which included 13 boundaries.

India were able to double their score before England finally made the breakthrough with Tendulkar edging behind off Lewis.

Having set high standards for their displays in the field, England struggled in murky conditions with Gautam Gambhir missed on 19 by Kevin Pietersen at extra cover and on 40, while Mahendra Dhoni was dropped by Prior before he had scored. …

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