England asked to chase 198 as Sehwag hits second successive 50

Bangalore, Nov 23 (UNI) Virender Sehwag hit a dazzling 69 as India rattled up 166 for the loss of four wickets to set a target of 198 for England to be made in 22 overs under Duckworth/Lewis method in the fourth ODI at M Chinnaswamy stadium here today.

Rain played havoc as 28 overs were lost during the Indian innings. This reduced, what could have been a stirring contest, to 22 overs a side over four hours of play was lost in two stoppages due to heavy drizzle that lashed the stadium after the 14th and 17th over of the Indian innings.

The match was then reduced to 22 overs a side.

Resuming at 106 for one after the second rain break, India managed to score 60 runs of the remaining five overs, thanks to a short but swashbuckling knock of 25 in just 11 balls by Yuvraj Singh who sent the ball into the stands thrice in different directions while Yusuf Pathan polished off with a six off the last ball of the Indian innings.

Earlier, Sehwag dominated the English bowlers and punished them with disdain by throwing caution to the wind. Gautam Gambhir, who came at number three after the team management decided to send Sachin Tendulkar to open the innings, made a tidy 40 off 37 balls.

In the limited time left, Dhoni did not lag behind as he made nine off five balls.

England's off-spinner Graeme Swann took two for 21 off two overs as Indians went hammer and tongs with just five overs left in their innings after the second resumption.

In the afternoon Sehwag made his intentions clear clouting James Anderson over the point fielder to the ropes off the first ball of the match, while Tendulkar, playing one-day match after seven months, also began well, scoring a couple off the first ball he faced from Chris Broad.

The Delhi batsman was severe on both the England's opening bowlers as he belligerently smacked Anderson in his second over to long on fence, while the next delivery disappeared into the cover fence in a flash.

Tendulkar on the other end took time to settle that slowed down the scoring rate to some extent but his flick to the square-leg off Broad had the stamp of the master batsman.

However, the full house expected much more from the world's highest run getter but Sachin soon departed playing all over a seaming delivery from Broad to see his off stump rattled.

It was a fine comeback for Broad who on the previous delivery was injured in the leg while trying to stop a straight drive from the master batsman and had to call for the team's physio.

Advent of Gambhir at the fall of Tendulkar, saw Indian scoreboard begin to clutter. The southpaw, who had to miss the opening slot due to Tendulkar's return, looked aggressive from the start as he dispatched the first ball he faced off Broad to cover fence.

As though he was waiting for the arrival of his 'favourite' batting partner, Sehwag too opened up as he hit Anderson, who had changed ends, for 14 runs in five balls in the 12th over of the Indian innings.

He struck the lanky pacer for two fours and a six that landed in the stands over the midwicket fence.

When he reached 36, Sehwag completed 6000 runs in one day cricket in his 195th match. He became the sixth Indian player to do so and the 39th in the world.

Anderson, however, impressed with his pace and bounce that troubled Sehwag. The opener was lucky to escape as he edged Broad but th ball fell just short of keeper and the next ball again, edged by Sehwag, flew to the boundary though it was within the reach of Matt Prior, who had a forgetful day behind the stumps.

Two overs later, rain arrived as it was feared earlier and stopped play for two hours. The players had to rush back to pavilion for the second time as rain returned just three overs later at the end of the 17th over.

Over two hours of play was lost during the second stop. By then the Delhi pair had scored 79 runs for the second wicket in 60 balls to take the Indian score 117 before Sehwag was dismissed holding out to James Anderson at long on.

Gambhir repeated the stroke to be caught by the same bowler, while Dhoni was clean bowled by Samit Patel who bowled a good last over.


Story first published: Sunday, November 23, 2008, 23:04 [IST]
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