India denied chance to claim win over England

India 274-7 (50 overs) v England 27-2 (7.2 overs) - no result
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The Independent Online

India were denied the chance to claim a maiden win over England this summer after the first one-day international at Chester-le-Street was rained off.

The world champions had given themselves the chance of a breakthrough success after Parthiv Patel's 95 helped the tourists to 274 for seven.

England were then 27 for two in their reply before the forecast rain finally arrived and remained to prevent a result.

It was an unsatisfying end for India whose day was soured further by yet more injury concerns - most notably star man Sachin Tendulkar.

The veteran right-hander was unable to take his place due to a toe injury that could end his tour prematurely, while Rohit Sharma sustained a broken finger after he was struck on the gloves by a Stuart Broad short delivery.

The tourists' injury crisis meant they were without seven of the team that won the World Cup final in April, with Tendulkar set to undergo test on his injury this week.

With India depleted it was no surprise when England skipper Alastair Cook sent them in under overcast skies this morning after winning the toss.

But India hardly missed their star men thanks to Parthiv, who was dropped by local boy Ben Stokes on seven, as he formed the backbone of the tourists' healthy score.

The diminutive left-hander punished England's seamers for bowling too short on a slow wicket, scoring most of his 12 fours behind the wicket in a 107-ball stay.

The pace of the pitch highlighted the loss of off-spinner Graeme Swann, who was ruled out with a stomach bug, as Parthiv and debutant Ajinkya Rahane made a solid start putting on 82 in 16 overs.

Patel was given his life by Stokes when he failed to hold onto a catch off Bresnan diving forward from gully.

It would prove a costly drop as Parthiv anchored the innings in stands of 82 and 103 with Rahane and Virat Kohli.

Despite forming a makeshift partnership with Rahane they laid a solid start before Broad made a quick double strike.

Rahane had pulled with authority during his 40 from 44 balls but was undone by a short ball he skied to Samit Patel on the fine-leg rope.

Broad struck again in his next over to remove Rahul Dravid, albeit with a questionable over-rule from the third umpire.

On-field umpire Billy Doctrove initially turned down an appeal for caught behind and while the HotSpot technology supported him, the audio did not and a bemused Dravid was sent on his way.

England failed to build on the double breakthrough, however, as Parthiv was joined by Kohli in their century stand.

The pair were aided by too many short-pitched deliveries, with Parthiv especially punishing, pulling the expensive Jade Dernbach for back-to-back fours.

He had looked set for a deserved first ODI century but was denied by a rush of blood when he flashed at a wide slower ball from Jimmy Anderson.

India's injury problems then worsened again when Sharma was pinned on the glove with the first ball he faced.

Kohli then departed for 55, chopping on a Samit Patel delivery that kept a little low, to leave Suresh Raina (38) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (33) to supply the late hitting in the last 10 overs.

Together they added 60 off 54 balls before Raina departed in the penultimate over to Dernbach before Bresnan took two wickets in successive balls, to remove Dhoni and R Ashwin.

Despite the late wickets India had set a testing target that looked more imposing when Praveen Kumar claimed Cook and Craig Kieswetter early.

Cook played on to his stumps after managing just four before Kieswetter was trapped plumb but after just 7.2 overs the rain arrived and the players went off at 3pm.

Attempts for a re-start were twice denied by the persistent drizzle as the match was eventually called off at 5.30pm.