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Great Cricket World Cup Matches India and England play a thrilling tie in Bengaluru in the 2011 ODI WC

India's Sachin Tendulkar
India's Sachin Tendulkar

The Player of the Match award went to Sir Andrew Strauss in the tied game for his brilliant 158 off 145 balls.

India were part of the opening fixture of the 2011 ODI World Cup against Bangladesh, played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka in which the Men in Blue decimated the home side to win by 87 runs. This was hyped up as a revenge match by Indian opener Virender Sehwag after India were knocked out of the 2007 ODI WC following a defeat at the hands of Bangladesh.

True to his word, Sehwag blasted 175 off just 140 balls to help India to 370/4 in the first match of the competition, and get the Indian campaign off to a swashbuckling start.

England, too, had got off to a winning start. They faced Netherlands in the 5th match of the ICC World Cup 2011, played at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur and won by 6 wickets with each of their top six getting 30 or more. Hence, the match offered great practice for them to give game time to all their batters ahead of the crucial clash against India.

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India batted first and posted 338 all out from 49.5 overs at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. Playing in his last World Cup, Sachin Tendulkar struck 120 off 115 deliveries. Half centuries from Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh took India to an above par total, but even defending that proved to be a challenge for them at the postage sized Chinnaswamy Stadium.

At 281/2 after 42.3 overs, England were well ahead in the match and were cruising towards their target. This is when the experience of Zaheer Khan came in handy for Team India as he struck thrice in a short span to wrest the momentum back.

Zak dismissed Sir Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell and Paul Collingwood in the same spell to give India some hope.

England captain Sir Andrew Strauss played a blinder of a knock, racing to 158 off 145 balls and looked in hurry to finish off the match before Zaheer trapped him in front of the sticks. Strauss was in the zone and has already struck 18 boundaries and one six while going at a strike rate of 108.97. Had he not been dismissed at the 42.5 over mark and lasted a couple more overs, the match would have been pretty much done and dusted.

After the dismissal of wicketkeeper Matt Prior and the score reading 289/6 after 45.2 overs, it began to look more and more like India's game. But the match had a few more twists and turns left in it.

Another turning point came when India gambled by giving the penultimate over to leg spinner Piyush Chawla as Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann hit one six each to keep England in the game. Going by the leg spinner's CV pretty much, Chawla conceded two sixes but picked up two wickets as well to keep the game in the balance.

However, England lost much of their big hitting prowess with the dismissal of all-rounder Bresnan off the last ball of the second-last over as he had the ability to finish off the match with a couple of meaty blows.

Out of nowhere, Ajmal Shahzad struck a six off Munaf Patel in the last over to make the margins even smaller. As it turned out, England could get only one off the last ball as the match ended in a tie. This was only the fourth tied match in the history of ODI World Cups.

Both captains were quite content with the one point they eked out of the match which held them in good stead going forward. Perhaps, justice was done with the tie, as both teams looked like being in the driver's seat at various points in the match.

India ended up winning the showpiece event while England were knocked out after their defeat to Sri Lanka in the 4th Quarter-Final.


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