England 4-325 (Ian Bell 85, Alastair Cook 75, Ashok Dinda 2-53) beat India 9-316 (Yuvraj Singh 61, Gautam Gambhir 52, Suresh Raina 50, James Tredwell 4-44) by 9 runs.
An all round performance by England earned them a win in the opening ODI of the five match series against India in a close encounter at Rajkot.
England amassed 325 runs with half of their side back in the dressing room and India scored 316 after losing nine wickets in the allocated 50 overs.
James Tredwell (England) was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his career’s best figures of 4-44 in the game.
The first ODI was played on Friday, January 11, 2013, at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot.
Alastair Cook, the English captain, won the toss and preferred to bat first on a flat track. Cook went into bat with Ian Bell and picked their spots intelligently as the first hit 3 fours in the sixth over and the latter got 2 fours in the ninth over. Bell dispatched the first six of the match in the 14th over and Cook reached his 14th ODI fifty in the 16th over. The run rate was picked up by the duo as Cook added another 2 fours in the 19th over and the first hundred of the innings also appeared on board.
Ian Bell scored his 24th ODI half century in the next over as Cook gathered 10 runs in the 24th over with 1 six and 1 four. The solid first wicket partnership was broken at 158 in 27.4 overs when Bell was unluckily run out for 85 off 96 balls with 1 six and 9 fours. Alastair Cook became the next victim after the addition of 14 runs to the total at his personal feat of 75 off 83 with 1 six and 11 fours.
Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan maintained the tempo of brisk scoring while sending the ball out of the rope at regular intervals. Pietersen collected 22 runs in the 38th and 39th over with 1 six and 3 fours as Morgan got 14 runs in the next over off Ishant Sharma comprising 1 six and 2 fours. The score was enhanced to 248 in 42 overs when Eoin Morgan was smartly caught and bowled by Ashok Dinda for 41 from 38 with 2 sixes and 4 fours. Pietersen went back to the pavilion for 44 when Craig Kieswetter and Samit Patel made a final onslaught on the Indian bowling.
Patel was the most devastating of the two and they punished Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 38 runs in the last two overs with 2 lofty sixes and 5 fours. Samit Patel and Craig Kieswetter were at the crease for 44 and 24 runs respectively as England hammered 325 runs for the loss of five wickets at the close of the 50th over.
Ashok Dinda and Suresh Raina were the successful bowlers among seven and took two and one wicket accordingly.
Ajinkya Rahane and Gautam Gambhir gave a positive reply to the Englishmen by reaching 21 in the first four overs. The next two overs witnessed four boundaries, three were shared by Gambhir and two from the willow of Rahane. The pair kept on cruising nicely and managed 96 runs in 16.4 overs as Ajinkya Rahane became the first victim for 47 off 57 with 6 fours. Gautam Gambhir lost his wicket after six runs were added to the score while contributing 52 off even deliveries with 7 fours.
Virat Kohli was once again unable to impress and was caught behind by Kieswetter off Tim Bresnan for 15 as Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina associated in the centre. Yuvraj opened up with a six in the 26th over followed by 3 fours in the 28th over and rushed to his 49th ODI fifty on the fifth ball of the 30th over with another four. Raina supported him superbly from the other end and they pushed the score to 198 in 34.4 overs. Yuvraj Singh was caught at short fine leg off James Tredwell for 61 scored from just 54 with 1 six and 8 fours.
MS Dhoni took guards in the centre next and kept the chase alive with Raina who recorded his 24th ODI half century on the first ball of the 42nd over. Suresh Raina was caught and bowled by Tredwell for 50 off 49 with 7 fours at 243 in 41.4 overs. Dhoni dispatched 3 gigantic sixes in the next two overs but was dismissed for 32 from 25 with 4 sixes. The tail order batsmen tried to achieve the target but they fell short of nine runs in the end with one wicket still in hand.
The off spinner, James Tredwell, was the highest wicket taker with four, Jade Dernbach and Tim Bresnan shared two each whereas Steven Finn claimed one wicket.
England clinched the fighting match with a narrow margin of 9 runs and got an advantage of leading the series 1-0. The next match will be played on January 15, 2013, at Nehru Stadium, Kochi.