Rajkot, Nov 14 (UNI) Rampaging Yuvraj Singh marked a welcome return to form with a 78 ball unbeaten 138 as he along with the half centuries by Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir saw India off to a rollicking start as they scored their highest ever one-day score against England amassing a mammoth total of 387 for five wickets in the first one-dayer of the seven match series here today.
India broke their record of 329 for seven made at Bristol in 2007. England now face an uphill task of scoring 388 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series. This score is also the highest score by any team on this ground beating the 349 made by New Zealand in 1999.
Put into bat by Kevin Pietersen on a wicket which offered the bowlers little help, Indian openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir made England pay as India galloped out of the blocks.
Both the Delhi lads put on an explosive century stand to set the pace for the latter batsmen to capitalise as India sent England on a leather hunt which they would not forget in a hurry.
In the absence of Ryan Sidebottom, Stuart Broad was entrusted the new ball alongside James Anderson. Both were wayward in their first spells and India started briskly. Sehwag specially gave the bowlers no margin for error on a flat wicket with a quick outfield as he flicked Anderson and Broad towards the square-leg boundary when they strayed on to his pads. And when Broad offered the slightest bit of room outside off stump, third man retrieved the ball from the boundary.
Gambhir, who took a little more time to settle down then suddenly walked down and lifted Anderson over mid-on. He then hit Broad for three fours in the sixth over, the gentlest of open-faced steers - which took him past 2000 ODI runs - sandwiched between slaps down the ground. The understanding between the two Delhi batsmen was further evident with some smart tip-and-runs as well.
India had made 53 in ten overs and Pietersen took the second Powerplay immediately. After three overs from Andrew Flintoff, Pietersen turned to Samit Patel's left-arm spin in the 13th over.
Sehwag drove him inside-out through extra cover after which the batsmen took easy singles and doubles. The second Powerplay cost 40 runs. Paul Collingwood, playing his 150th ODI, took the ball after the drinks break and Sehwag slammed his first two balls for six. The second shot, a disdainful sweep into the stands at midwicket, raised his fifty, from 44 balls, and India's 200. Sehwag gave Patel scant respect, hitting consecutive boundaries.
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