India denied victory by bad weather

Praveen Kumar dismissed both the England openers early Getty Images

By Ashish Shukla

Chester-le-Street: Sep 3, 2011

India’s quest for a morale-boosting victory was dashed after persistent rain forced abandonment of their first cricket One-Dayer against England after the visitors found themselves in a comfortable position on Saturday.

India had made 274 for seven, riding mainly on opening batsman Parthiv Patel’s fluent 95, after being put into bat and had reduced England to 27 for two from 7.2 overs before the rain came and no further play was possible.

Twice it appeared the rain had relented and play after all would be possible as England, under revised targets, were first asked to make 224 from 32 overs and later 164 from 20 overs. On both occasions, rain came again to make the restart impossible.

The umpires finally called off the match at 5:30pm local time (10pm IST), two and half hours after rain stopped play.

It was a spirited performance from the visitors who missed Sachin Tendulkar at the start of the day and middle-order bat Rohit Sharma in the middle of their innings.

Both setbacks were on account of injuries as Tendulkar pulled out due to an inflamed right toe and Rohit had his right index finger jammed by a rising delivery from Stuart Broad in the 38th over of the Indian innings.

India began the defence of their competitive total in superb fashion with Praveen Kumar accounting for both the openers, skipper Alastair Cook (4) and Craig Kieswetter (6).

The two new ball bowlers, Praveen Kumar and Vinay Kumar, made run-making an arduous task for England batsmen who had made only 27 from 7.2 overs before rain chose to have the final say.

Both the sides now moved on to Southampton for the second game of the five-match ODI series on September 6.

Earlier, Parthiv struck a fluent 95 to steer India to a competitive 274 for seven after they were put into bat in overcast conditions.

The left-hander, who was a last minute inclusion in the team due to an injury to Sachin Tendulkar, missed out on what could have been his maiden ODI century by five runs.

Patel, whose 95 today was his highest ODI score, shared two productive stands of 82 and 103 runs for the first and second wickets with ODI debutant and opener Ajinkya Rahane (40) and Virat Kohli (55).

Patel manipulated the field cleverly and showed a penchant for pulling anything short as England toiled to make any effect on a featherbed of a wicket at Riverside Park.

But for a dropped chance at point off Tim Bresnan when on eight, Patel batted without nerves, facing 107 deliveries and hitting 12 fours, most of them on the onside.

The Indians began slowly with 22 runs from the first six overs but once they had their eyes in, the two openers unfurled some attractive strokes.

Rahane, who made such a fine impression in the one-off Twenty20 International earlier this week, batted with similar aplomb as he cracked 40 off 44 balls with six fours.

The Mumbai batsman played pulls and lofted strokes against England pacemen and also drove well as he showed fine technique and temperament.

James Anderson bowled tightly for his seven overs, conceding 28 runs, but the rest of the bowlers made little impression on Indian openers.

However, England made two strikes in quick succession to send back Rahane and Rahul Dravid (2), who again fell prey to a controversial decision.(PTI)

Brief Score: India 274 for 7 (Parthiv Patel 95, Virat Kohli 55; Tim Bresnan 2 for 54) vs England (Jonathan Trott 14*, Ian Bell 2*; Praveen Kumar 2 for 11) Match Abandoned

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