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At Manchester, May 26, 27. England won by four wickets. Toss: India.
England won the first Texaco Trophy of the summer with their second successive win, this time masterminded by Alistair Brown, the Surrey batsman, whose debut four days earlier had been marked by heavy criticism because he stayed in long enough to have his limitations exposed. In the second match, he was luckier because he failed quickly. This time he batted almost throughout, and after a solid start - not at all in the 1996 pinch-hitter's fashion - scored 118 in a manner that gave signs of high quality. Its impact was diminished because it came on the second day, after yet more rain, and because the contest was overshadowed by politics on both sides. It was announced that Ray Illingworth, the England chairman of selectors, would be brought before the TCCB disciplinary committee because of his attack on Devon Malcolm in his recent book. On the Indian side Navjot Sidhu walked out of the tour after being dropped. India made three changes and two of the newcomers, Ganguly and Dravid, played their part in an improved batting performance. After some early legwork from Rathore, Azharuddin showed glimpses of his best form, scored 73 in 64 balls and took India to 236 for four. Atherton was out cheaply, for the third time out of three, before rain forced a halt. But next day Brown was in powerful form. He faced 137 balls, hit ten fours and two sixes and, with help from Hick and Thorpe, gave England a victory that came with seven balls to spare. It was England's 250th limited-overs international, and their 128th win against 113 defeats.
Man of the Match: A. D. Brown. Attendance: 20,310; receipts £509,392.
Men of the Series: C. C. Lewis and M. Azharuddin.
Close of play: England 2-1 (1 over) (A. D. Brown 1*, N. M. K. Smith 0*).