England down fighting India in first ODI
On a day that saw 641 runs being scored, England held their nerve to edge out India in a thrilling opening to the five-match ODI series.
After having won the toss and opting to bat first on a flat Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium wicket, Alastair Cook along with Ian bell plundered the Indian bowling line, amassing 325-4 from their 50 overs.
They were ably supported by fluent but brief knocks by Kevin Pietersen (44) and Eoin Morgan (41) and a late flurry by Samit Patel who smashed 44 off just 20 balls, including six fours and one six.
The effort reflected heavily on the Indian bowling charts, with Ishant Sharma going for a whopping 86 off his 10 luckless overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who made a dream debut to his ODI career against Pakistan, went for 52 from his 7 while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin conceded 61 from 9.
India’s reply packed a punch, largely due to half-centuries from three lefties Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina but they were up against too big a task.
James Tredwell, England’s most successful bowler in the match with 4-44, largely put the breaks before pacer Jade Dernbach (2-69) cleaned up to leave India nine short of the target.
England’s victory was their first in 14 away matches against India – a barren run stretching back to April 2006.
The two teams will now head to Kochi to face off in the second ODI on January 15.