Saturday, February 26, 2011

India vs England: Going down memory lane

The very first game of the World Cup was played between India and England, back in 1975 at Lord's. Since then, this rivalry has grown into a fascinating duel, with India enjoying a upper hand in recent times. We look at four games between the two sides that are worth remembering for years to come.. 

When Freddie took off his shirt... 
The teams went into the final game with India leading 3-2. This match, at the Wankhede in Mumbai, provided the fitting climax as England eked out a thrilling five-run win to draw the series 3-3. England made 255 based on opener Marcus Trescothick's 95. They looked like making much more at 153-2, but collapsed, with Harbhajan Singhpicking up a five-for. Sourav Ganguly (80) led India's chase, but Andrew Flintoff (3-380 won it for England. To rub salt into India's wounds, Flintoff took off his shirt and ran around the ground with his teammates in jubilation. 
Feb 3, 2002 at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Brief scores: England 255 in 49.1 overs (M Trescothick 95, N Hussain 41, A Flintoff 40; Harbhajan 5-43) beat India 250 in 49.5 overs (S Ganguly 80; A Flintoff 3-38) by five runs. 

When Aleem Dar did India in 

It was the decider of the NatWest series, which had gone right down to the wire at 3-3 till that point. At Lord's, however, everything went wrong for India. England, expectedly, prepared a fast and bouncy wicket and bowled out India for 187. The game, unfortunately, was spoiled by Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar's folly in judging Sachin Tendulkarout caught behind off Flintoff when television replays showed that the ball had brushed the batsman's shoulder. 

Sept 8, 2007 at Lord's 

Brief Scores: India 187 in 47.3 overs (MS Dhoni 50; A Flintoff 3-45, A Mascarenhas 3-23) lost to England 188-3 in 36.2 overs (K Pietersen 71 not out, P Collingwood 64). 

The Lord at Lord's 

It was probably the second most impactful win for India after the 1983 World Cup triumph. The Natwest tri-series final looked like England's for the taking after Nasser Hussain & Co made 325 for five. With the top order in the hut, all hope looked lost at 146-5, before Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif scripted a sensational turnaround with a 121-run partnership. The most abiding memory though was Sourav Ganguly twirling his shirt on the Lord's balcony. 

July 13, 2002 at Lord's 

Brief scores: England 325-5 in 50 overs (M Trescothick 109, N Hussain 115; Z Khan 3-62) lost to India 326-8 in 49.3 overs (M Kaif 87, Yuvraj 69, S Ganguly 60, V Sehwag 45) by two wickets. 

The Nehra sixer 

In a must-win game for India, Ashish Nehra produced perhaps the best-ever spell delivered by an Indian fast bowler. Playing with a badly damaged knee, Nehra ran through the English batting line-up on a seaming Durban pitch. In between, the charged up pacer had a banana and threw up instantly! The other thing worth remembering from this game is Sachin Tendulkar's pulled six off seamer Andy Caddick.

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