India 294-6 England 245 (India win by 49 runs): England wilt in the heat as Flintoff starts to show strain

The four floodlight pylons here at the Nehru Stadium donned 70-foot images of a smiling Andrew Flintoff advertising a local soft drink company. The Flintoff who departed the arena yesterday afternoon, following England's 49-run defeat to India in the third one-day international, wore more of a frown, and he appeared ready for a beverage that had slightly more substance to it than water.

The victory margin, and the fact England scored 245 in reply to India's 294 for 6, suggests this was a relatively close contest. It was not. India controlled the game from the moment Rahul Dravid won the toss and England never looked capable of winning.

Paul Collingwood and Geraint Jones restored respectability with a 105-run partnership. Collingwood showed industry and skill during his innings of 93, but it was a magnificent 103 from India's Yuvraj Singh that broke England and ended any realistic chance turning it in to a competitive series. The defeat leaves England 3-0 down in the seven match tournament and it would be something of an achievement if they were to win two of the remaining four games.

"We have a mountain to climb," admitted a weary looking Flintoff. "But there are still four games left and we have got to believe that we can get back into this series. It will be tough, India are a very good side, but the lads desperately want to do it and so do I.

"Yuvraj played a great knock and chasing 290 on a wearing pitch was always going to be tough. I would not say our bowlers let us down but Yuvraj and Suresh Raina played very well and probably scored 40-50 runs more than a par score on that wicket." England know what a gifted cricketer Yuvraj is. In 2002 the left hander played two thrilling innings at Lord's to help India win the NatWest series. Yesterday, on a pitch where it was difficult to time the ball, was even more impressive.

Yuvraj was helped by an England attack that failed to bowl with control or discipline in the second half of India's innings but, even so, he still struck the ball superbly. His fifty came off the 49th ball he faced, and he raced to three figures in a further 24 deliveries.

Ian Blackwell, Sajid Mahmood and Liam Plunkett were each heaved over the deep midwicket boundary for six as India added 98 runs in the final 10 overs of their innings. Yuvraj received excellent excellent support from Raina who gave another indication of his talent with a classy 61.

After watching India lose three wickets in four overs the pair paced their partnership perfectly. They started patiently, and then, with England fading in the heat, they began to dominate. When Yuvraj chipped Flintoff to extra cover they had put on 142 runs for the fifth wicket in just 126 balls.

Flintoff defended his bowlers at the end of the game, and heaped praise on Yuvraj and Raina. Yet privately he and Duncan Fletcher, the England coach, must be concerned with their inability to bowl yorkers in the closing overs. There is nothing batsmen like more at the end of an innings than a good length ball. It is a delivery that can be hit anywhere.

England made two changes to the side that lost in Delhi and Faridabad. Illness caused Kevin Pietersen to withdraw, giving Vikram Solanki another chance, and Kabir Ali was dropped for Sajid Mahmood.

Mahmood is a fast bowler with a lot of promise but he had a day to forget. In his second one-day international he struggled with the heat, misfielded the ball on a couple of occasions, conceded 66 runs in eight overs and had his middle stump knocked out by Ajit Agarkar to lose the game.

Flintoff went for more than six runs an over himself and it appears that his growing list of responsibilities is beginning to take its toll. Flintoff needs assistance. He needs someone with whom he can share the workload. But, especially on the fast bowling front, help is sparse.

The absence of Pietersen placed even greater onus on Flintoff and he was back out in the sun batting by the 12th over. Irfan Pathan dismissed Andrew Strauss, Ian Blackwell and Owais Shah with a series of cleverly disguised cutters in an opening spell England's bowlers ought to have watched.

With England on 46 for 3 Flintoff did not seem to know how to approach his task, and it was indecision which resulted in the run out of Matthew Prior. With the game all but lost, his options were:have a heave and see where it got him; ensure that England achieved a respectable total, or say "sod it" and have some fun.

In the end he achieved none of the above as he top-edged a slog sweep to the deep midwicket boundary. Flintoff stayed on one knee to watch the flight of the ball and on seeing Virender Sehwag take the catch he put his hand over his face in horror. It was an image that summed up England's day.

Scoreboard from Goa

India won the toss

India

V Sehwag b Anderson 15 27 min, 26 balls, 2 fours

*R S Dravid b Collingwood 46 101 min, 59 balls, 6 fours

I K Pathan c Collingwood b Flintoff 36 97 min, 63 balls, 3 fours, 1 six

Yuvraj Singh c Collingwood b Flintoff 103 114 min, 76 balls, 10 fours, 3 sixes

M Kaif c Jones b Plunkett 0 3 min, 3 balls

S K Raina b Flintoff 61 95 min, 68 balls, 5 fours, 1 six

ÝM S Dhoni not out 13 11 min, 6 balls, 1 four, 1 six

R R Powar not out 1 2 min, 1 ball

Extras (b0 lb3 w14 nb2) 19

Total (for 6, 228min, 50 overs) 294

Fall: 1-27 (Sehwag); 2-105 (Dravid); 3-130 (Pathan); 4-131 (Kaif); 5-273 (Yuvraj Singh); 6-288 (Raina).

Did not bat: A B Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, M M Patel.

Bowling: Anderson 9-1-40-1 (w2) (6-1-17-1 1-0-7-0 2-0-16-0); Mahmood 8-0-66-0 (w2) (4-0-21-0 2-0-17-0 2-0-28-0); Flintoff 9-0-56-3 (nb2,w3) (3-0-16-0 3-0-15-1 1-0-10-0 2-0-15-2); Plunkett 6-0-39-1 (w1) (2-0-10-0 2-0-13-1 2-0-16-0); Blackwell 10-1-42-0 (w2) (4-0-19-0 6-1-23-0); Collingwood 5-0-31-1 (w2) (4-0-21-1 1-0-10-0); Solanki 3-0-17-0 (w2) (one spell).

Progress: Power Play 1: overs 1-10, 41-1; PP2: overs 11-15, 64-1; PP3: overs 24-28 from 105-2 to 131-4.

50: 55min, 77 balls. 100: in 99min, 136 balls. 150: in 142min, 182 balls. 200: 183min, 246 balls. 250: 205min, 274 balls.

Yuvraj Singh's 50: 73min, 49 balls, 6 fours. 100: 111min, 73 balls, 10 fours, 3 sixes. Raina's 50: 81min, 58 balls, 3 fours, 1 six.

England

A J Strauss c Dhoni b Pathan 7 17 min, 13 balls, 1 four

M J Prior run out (Patel-Dhoni) 37 89 min, 54 balls, 7 fours

I D Blackwell b Pathan 9 16 min, 11 balls, 1 four

O A Shah c Yuvraj Singh b Pathan 7 18 min, 11 balls, 1 four

*A Flintoff c Sehwag b Powar 15 42 min, 30 balls, 2 fours

P D Collingwood c Raina b Harbhajan Singh 93 117 min, 84 balls, 10 fours, 1 six

V S Solanki c Yuvraj Singh b Harbhajan Singh 10 23 min, 20 balls, 1 six

ÝG O Jones c Sehwag b Pathan 32 71 min, 42 balls, 1 six

L E Plunkett b Agarkar 18 26 min, 19 balls, 2 fours

S I Mahmood b Agarkar 8 17 min, 9 balls

J M Anderson not out 2 3 min, 2 balls

Extras (b 0, lb 2, w 3, nb 2, pens 0) 7

Total (225min, 48.5 overs) 245

Fall: 1-8 (Strauss); 2-27 (Blackwell); 3-47 (Shah); 4-78 (Prior); 5-83 (Flintoff); 6-100 (Solanki); 7-205 (Jones); 8-223 (Collingwood); 9-242 (Plunkett); 10-245 (Mahmood).

Bowling: Pathan 10-0-51-4 (w2) (7-0-25-3 3-0-26-1); Patel 8-0-47-0 (w1) (5-0-22-0 2-0-19-0 1-0-6-0); Agarkar 7.5-0-34-2 (6-0-22-0 1.5-0-12-2); Harbhajan Singh 10-1-47-2 (3-0-14-0 5-1-23-1 2-0-10-1); Powar 10-0-45-1 (nb2) (5-0-16-1 5-0-29-0); Yuvraj Singh 3-0-19-0 (one spell).

Progress: Power play 1: overs 1-10 44-2; PP2 overs 11-15 58-3; PP3 16-20 83-4.

50: 57min, 67 balls. 100: 120min, 150 balls. 150: 163min, 214 balls. 200: 192 mins, 253 balls.

Collingwood's 50: 80min, 54 balls, 6 fours.

India won by 49 runs.

Umpires: Asad Rauf and K Hariharan.

TV replay umpire: I Shivram.

Match referee: R S Mahanama.

Man of the match: Yuvraj Singh.

News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat