Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: England Handed a Painful Lesson; Pietersen's Men Are Humiliated

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: England Handed a Painful Lesson; Pietersen's Men Are Humiliated

Article excerpt

Byline: Myles Hodgson

ENGLAND were sentenced to an impromptu practice session after suffering a humiliating defeat in their final match before the start of the one-day international series against India.

Just three days before the opening game of a seven-match series in Rajkot, England's preparations were thrown into disarray by a 124-run defeat to a Mumbai side largely made up of club professionals.

None of the players who dismissed the tourists for just 98 inside 25 overs are considered part of their squad for the Ranji Trophy, the main domestic competition in India.

It was a humbling experience with only three players - Samit Patel, Graeme Swann and Jimmy Anderson - even reaching double figures, and followed just 10 days after England were dismissed for 99 in the Stanford showdown in Antigua.

The embarrassing display prompted coach Peter Moores and his backroom staff to order a practice session in the middle, normally known as "naughty boy nets", after the match finished.

But for a 34-run last-wicket stand between Swann and Anderson, England's humiliation would have been even greater although captain Kevin Pietersen did his best to shrug off the significance of the result. "It's a tough few lessons we need to learn," he said. "It's competitive cricket and there is a need to respect opposition and make sure we go and do the business. But there are no dramas. If we did this in the internationals three or four games in a row then there is a drama, but this is not it."

Pietersen was one of five members of the top seven dismissed for single figure scores, in his case a third-ball duck when he advanced down the wicket to 23-year-old seamer Kshemal Waingankar and was given lbw.

Just to prove that success was no fluke Waingankar went on to claim 5-35, not bad for a bowler who has only played one first class match. …

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