India V England, India in England series, Match One, 20th August 2007 at Redditch Cricket Club

After the opening ceremony to this five-match series the start was delayed due to the damp conditions.

England gave debuts to B1s Andy Briant and Mark Turnham. India chose from a squad of thirteen players who took part in the recent World Cup.

India won the toss and inserted England who had the worst of the batting conditions with a slow outfield and the dampness either side of the pitch hampered running between the wickets.

The loss of Foy in the first over to the first of Bisherjeet Singh’s three catches enabled the Indian bowlers to impose themselves early on, restricting scoring with a mainly leg side line to a packed onside field. Luke Sugg and Rory Field tried to make the most of scoring opportunities but often cleanly struck onside shots went unrewarded. Shekhar Naik bowled his tidy spell straight through.

When Field was caught out by B1 fielder Ketan Patel the score had progressed to 118 in the 28th over but the introduction of Matt Dean saw an increase in tempo as the fielding side was put under pressure with Dean scoring off nearly every ball. Luke Sugg fell at 130 with a score of 59 including four of the innings’ seven boundaries.

The run outs of Matt Dean and Dave Powers brought in Andy Briant who pushed the ball into the gaps for an impressive 20 before being bowled by Rakesh Perjapati. The run rate gradually increased as batsmen took more risks but wickets tumbled with 3 falling for 16 runs.

Chasing a total of 212 the Indian batsmen showed their intent reaching 39 after 4 overs for the loss of Ashish Negi caught by Rory Field off Sugg. Shekhar Naik joined the B1 opener Subhash Boya and dominated proceedings posting a score of 147-1 by the first drinks break. Naik’s 65 off 32 balls included 13 boundaries hitting powerfully to leg and occasionally driving through mid off. When Rory Field trapped Naik in front at 151 Rajinder Verma joined Boya and added 57 in 5 overs as England’s hopes faded. Boya was eventually run out for 92 but India achieved victory in the 20th over.

Despite an emphatic defeat England remained buoyant in the field. Heads did not drop and plenty of verbal encouragement was in evidence.

The toss had proved vital and if some of the lofted shots by the Indians had gone to hand England would have fancied making inroads into the Indian lower order. Nevertheless India dominated the match and took a well deserved 1-0 lead in the series.

The second match in the series will take place at Redditch’s well-appointed ground on Wednesday.

Men Of The Match:
B1: Subhash Boya for 92 and 8-0-54-1
B2: Rory Field for 54 and 6-0-52-1
B3: Shekhar Naik for 65 and 8-1-21-0

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