| Sachin Tendulkar on way to his 99 in the second ODI against England in Bristol on Friday. (AP) Scorecard on Page 18
London: An impressive century stand between openers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly helped India reach 329 for seven and set England an imposing target for victory in the second one-day International in Bristol.
The Indian pair capitalised on the advantageous conditions on a hot afternoon to put on 113 following skipper Rahul Dravid’s decision to bat on winning the toss.
It was their 18th century partnership when opening in ODIs and established the platform for India’s big total.
While India are aiming to level the seven-match series after losing the first one-dayer, England will have to pull off their highest run chase in limited overs cricket to secure victory.
Tendulkar led the way, reaching 50 off 56 balls, although it was a flurry of shots to the short boundaries from partner Sourav that took India to 100 in the 17th over.
The master blaster struck three boundaries off Chris Tremlett, including a six over long-on.
Sourav made 39 before he was caught by Paul Collingwood off Andrew Flintoff in the 20th over, just one ball after Tremlett had dropped Tendulkar.
It was an unhappy afternoon for fast bowler Tremlett.
Replacing spinner Monty Panesar for his first one-day appearance of the season, he finished with the most expensive figures with naught for 73 from nine overs.
Tendulkar reached 1,000 ODI runs against England when he hit a six off Tremlett, but fell one short of his 42nd century under controversial circumstances.
He tried to avoid a Flintoff bouncer down the legside and was ruled caught behind by umpire Ian Gould.
The ball appeared to brush his upper arm on way to Matt Prior. One could make out what Sachin felt about the decision from his reaction after seeing the umpire’s finger go up.
Sachin had got a rough decision from Simon Taufel in the second Test. This was the fourth time he had got out in the nineties on the current tour (Ireland, Scotland and England).
It looked harsh on the Indian batsman since the ball appeared to strike his elbow as he reacted to Flintoff’s bouncer.
India continued to pile on the runs before Yuvraj Singh, having made 49 off 53 balls, was caught by Collingwood off Stuart Broad in the 41st over.
The left-hander's innings was full of power and grace punctuated by three fours off Dimitri Mascarenhas. By the time Yuvraj fell to Broad, Dravid had warmed up to the task.
The Indian captain turned on the heat with a flurry of superbly timed shots that left the English fielders look like mere spectators. Dravid hit an amazing six over point off Anderson in the penultimate over of the innings that duly summed up his mood and form this afternoon.
Flintoff finished with his first five-wicket haul in one-dayers, with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Ajit Agarkar and Ramesh Powar all falling in the closing overs.
Dravid finished unbeaten on 92 off 63 balls.