World Cup - England and India share thrilling tie

Sun, 27 Feb 17:14:00 2011

England shared a tie with India in a quite thrilling World Cup Group B encounter in Bangalore as Andrew Strauss inspired his side to level their opponent's 338 in a pulsating clash.

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A dramatic finale saw England take 12 runs off the final over to tie the match after an imperious 158 from Strauss gave his side the opportunity of clinching a stunning run-chase.

It would have been an incredible effort from England after Sachin Tendulkar's 120 looked to have given India a dominant position as they posted their opponents a target of 339 to win.

India appeared to have set a daunting winning target in the Group B match but England kept cool and were coasting towards victory as they eased to 281-2, thanks largely to Strauss.

However, when England opted to play their powerplay from the 42nd over, Zaheer Khan produced a superb bowling spell to take three wickets in six balls to revive the home team's fortunes.

Needing 14 to win off pace bowler Munaf Patel's last over, Ajmal Shahzad brought England right back into contention after blasting a huge six that had Strauss leaping off his seat in the pavilion.

The electrifying match went down to the last ball with England two runs short of their victory target.

Graeme Swann nudged the ball to mid-off to secure the tie - a result that was loudly cheered by all those lucky enough to witness one of the best ever ODIs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

"In some ways we're happy and in some ways we're distraught. A great game of cricket," man-of-the-match Strauss said during the presentation ceremony.

"You back yourself to play better than that (in the powerplay). We lost (Ian) Bell and myself which is the last thing you want and that put pressure on the batsmen coming in.

"In some ways we're disappointed but in some ways we're privileged to play in a game like that.

"Some good performances, some less so."

His India counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni added: "At the end of the day, I'm happy with a tie.

"With just two wickets down (after 42 overs) ... it was getting pretty difficult for the bowlers and Zak (Khan) came in and bowled a really good spell and brought us back into the game. Otherwise it would have been done by 48 overs."

Earlier India's total revolved largely around Tendulkar's 47th one-day international century and a record fifth in World Cups.

In reply, England's run-chase was set well on its way helped by Strauss's sweetly-timed knock, the first century by an English captain in a World Cup.

Ultimately, though, it was one point each for the Group B front-runners via the fourth tie in the history of the competition after Swann could scramble only a single from Patel's final ball with eight wickets down under lights.

Dan Quarrell / Eurosport

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