Saturday 8 September 2007 

Collingwood And Pietersen Seal Series For England

India 187 (Dhoni 50, Mascarenhas 3-23) lost to
England 188-3 (Pietersen 74no, Collingwood 64no) at Lord's
England win by seven wickets and take the NatWest Series 4-3

Half-centuries from captain Paul Collingwood and Kevin Pietersen enabled England to pull off a comfortable seven-wicket win against India in the seventh one-day international, and with it win the series 4-3 at Lord's.

Luke Wright, promoted to open, and Matt Prior both departed without scoring leaving Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen with the task of rebuilding the innings. Wright mistimed a pull to offer RP Singh a simple caught and bowled chance before Prior edged him behind to Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Bell then struck three bruising pulls and a blistering off-drive to pick up four boundaries and help England break the shackles after a good early spell of bowling from India's left-armers Zaheer Khan and RP Singh, helping England to 74 for 3 from 16 overs. Bell was run out after another mix-up involving Kevin Pietersen, having made 36.

That brought Pietersen and Collingwood together, and both men reached half-centuries of differing character - Pietersen watchful, Collingwood aggressive and the pair put on an unbroken stand of 114 to bring the game home.

Andrew Flintoff and Dimitri Mascarenhas took three wickets each as England bowled India out for 187. With the series delicately poised at 3-3, it was England who played the better cricket, and enjoyed the luck in the final game of India's tour.

James Anderson started proceedings, taking the wickets of Saurav Ganguly (15) and Gautam Gambir (12) before Flintoff, passed fit, but still clearly troubled by his ankle, produced two good balls to beat Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar. Whether they both hit the ball is a point still open for debate, but both were sent on their way by umpire Aleem Dar. At 59 for 4, England held the advantage and never let it drop.

Yuvraj Singh (28) and Robin Uthappa (22) counter-attacked, but both fell to the economical Mascarenhas, who bowled impressively, returning figures of three for 23 from his ten overs, Piyush Chawla becoming his third victim when stumped by Matt Prior late on.

Flintoff returned to take the last wicket to fall, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who had made a fighting fifty, his first of the series, before he was caught by Anderson to bring the Indian innings to a close after 47.3 overs.

John Pennington
© Cricket World 2007