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. 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.
Khan took three wickets for one run in six balls 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.
However, Shahzad and Graeme Swann could only manage four runs as the match became 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 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 at Lord’s in 1975.
India captain happy with result
“The way they started I definitely am happy with a tie,” said India captain MS Dhoni.
“When they were two down, the bowlers were finding it very tough. Zaheer changed it around for us.”
Mixed feelings for England
Strauss had mixed feelings over the outcome. “We were in a great position to win the game after 41, 42 overs. We had a shocking Powerplay and from that stage onwards India were favourites to win the game,” he said, praising Swann and Shahzad for their efforts.
“We’re happy and devastated at the same time but privileged to play in a game like this.”
Tendulkar sets another record
Earlier, Tendulkar, playing in a sixth World Cup, made 120 and nipped ahead of compatriot Sourav Ganguly and Australian duo Mark Waugh and Ricky Ponting on four centuries. It was also his 47th career One-Day International hundred.
The 37-year-old ‘Little Master’ faced 115 balls and smashed 10 fours and five sixes in his knock.
Tendulkar struck Paul Collingwood for two sixes, the second of which took him to a 66-ball fifty, before going on to reach his century off 103 balls when he glanced Tim Bresnan for four.
He also shared a second-wicket stand of 134 with Gautam Gambhir (51) while Yuvraj Singh smashed 58.
James Anderson eventually dismissed Tendulkar, but it was the seamer’s only success on a grim afternoon when he finished with one for 91, the worst World Cup performance by an England bowler.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2011.