The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Saturdayís decider at Lordís
- Scintillating finish at the Oval

London: Till the fifth one-dayer of the NatWest Series, even a target of 282 was not gettable for the Indians. They had lost two matches while chasing. However, at the Brit Oval on Wednesday India chased Englandís challenging target of 317.

The difference on Wednesday was Robin Uthappa whose inclusion had more than paid off. A nerveless unbeaten 47 by Uthappa helped Team India level the seven-match NatWest Series 3-3.

The action, hence, shifts to the final ODI at Lordís on Saturday.

The 21-year-old right-hander, who normally opens the batting, came in when India were 234 for five and needed another 83 from the last nine overs.

The Bangalore youngster combined with Mahendra Singh Dhoni (35) to take the fight to the England camp, and despite the loss of his more illustrious partner, kept his cool to hit the winning runs in the final over.

The visitors needed eight runs from the four balls off Stuart Broad and Uthappa scooped a full toss to fine leg boundary before driving a volley to long off, triggering wild celebrations among the Indian players and fans.

The Indians, however, owed their win to MoM Sachin Tendulkar (94) and Sourav Ganguly (53) who gave India another flier of a start as they put on 150 runs for the opening stand.

The two batsmenís dismissals in the space of six runs slowed down the Indian run rate.

Sachin batted through the last stages of his innings in pain after hurting himself in a collision with Sourav while taking a single. Sachin again missed a century ó falling six runs short ó when he was taken by Kevin Pietersen off Monty Panesar.

Gautam Gambhir (47) then rose to the occasion, taking the scoring baton as Yuvraj Singh took time to settle down.

Earlier Indiaís bowling inadequacies were brutally exposed as England overcame a poor start to post 316 for six.

Middle-order batsman Owais Shah hit his maiden century to lead Englandís recovery and debutant Luke Wright distinguished himself with a quicksilver half-century.

Shah made an unbeaten 107 from only 95 balls with 11 fours and two sixes while 22-year-old Wright needed just 39 balls for his 50.

But it was allrounder Dimitri Mascarenhas who produced the real pyrotechnics in the closing stages as he smashed five sixes off the last five balls of the innings bowled by Yuvraj Singh.

That meant the unbroken seventh wicket stand between Shah and Mascarenhas fetched England 73 runs off 34 balls. (AGENCIES)


49.1: Robin Uthappa takes two off Stuart Broad. Runs required: 8. Balls left: 5. Wickets in hand: 3

49.2: Uthappa digs out a yorker, Zaheer Khan attempts a run, Broad sprints back to collect the ball and take the bails off. Zaheer run out. Runs required: 8. Balls left: 4. Wickets in hand: 2

49.3: Ramesh Powar joins Uthappa at the non-striking end. Uthappa comes down the track to a full toss and smashes a four to fine leg. Runs required: 4. Balls left: 3. Wickets in hand: 2

49.4: Uthappa drives past the diving mid-off fielder for another boundary. India win with 2 balls and 2 wickets to spare

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