Little Parthiv shines as India scores 274

Parthiv Patel’s score of 95 runs on Saturday is his highest score in ODIs Getty Images

Chester-Le-Street: Sep 3, 2011

Opening batsman Parthiv Patel struck a fluent 95 to steer India to a competitive 274 for seven in their first cricket one-dayer against England here today.

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 after the visitors were put into bat in overcast conditions.

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.

The decision of Rahane’s dismissal was a straightforward one as the right-hander pulled Broad into the hands of fine leg fielder. Dravid’s dismissal, however, was contentious as he was given out caught behind the stumps on a referral even as hot spot did not show any contact with the bat and ball.

The 100th of the Indian innings was brought up in the 22nd over and Patel was soon past his previous best score of 56, made against New Zealand in Chennai last year.

The middle overs were period of consolidation as England brought on left-arm spin of Samit Patel from one end and part-timer Jonathan Trott bowled a few overs of medium pace.

England clawed back into the game with two wickets in 13 balls as well as a batsman sent back injured to the pavilion — in the form of Rohit Sharma without scoring.

In the 38th over when James Anderson, recalled for his second spell, had Patel caught behind the wicket and in the next over, Stuart Broad rapped Rohit on his right index finger forcing the right-hander to retire hurt.

Anderson’s success, in the form of Patel’s wicket, was his 200th wicket in 148 ODIs. England removed Virat Kohli in the 40th over when the right-hander rocked back on his heels to cut the left-arm spin of Samit Patel and was clean bowled.

Kohli made 55 off 73 balls with four fours and India were 207 for four at the end of the 40th over.

In the next four overs, 25 runs were raised between Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina, the latter once stroking a belligerent six over mid-on off Broad.

The Indians opted for batting powerplay in the 45th over and it immediately paid dividends as Raina swung Jade Dernbach high beyond the backward square leg stands.

Raina departed in the 49th over, making 38 off 29 balls with two fours and two sixes, putting on 60 off 54 balls for the fifth wicket with Dhoni (33).

The batting poweplay yielded 38 runs for the loss of Raina’s wicket.

Brief Score: India 274 for 7 (Parthiv Patel 95, Virat Kohli 55; Tim Bresnan 2 for 54) vs England

Full ScoreCard