World Cup 1999, fourteenth group A match

England v India

Toss: England.

England arrived at Edgbaston seemingly assured of a Super Six place, but news of Zimbabwe's surprise defeat of South Africa changed everything. Suddenly, England needed to win, and their batsmen funked the task on the second morning, after rain made this the only group match to go into the reserve day. In blazing sunshine, Stewart won his fifth toss, and again fielded first. He was happy enough with his bowlers, who restricted India well on a slowish pitch. Ganguly was unlucky when Ealham fingertipped Dravid's drive into the stumps, but Tendulkar might have been both run out and caught before he finally swung Ealham to deep mid-wicket. Dravid top-scored with 53 from 82 balls.

The weather and the omens were threatening when England batted. Stewart and Hick were out to successive legal balls (separated by a wide) from Mohanty, and Hussain fell in poor light just before a spectacular downpour ended play. England needed a good start next day, but were dismayed when Javed Akhtar contentiously ruled Thorpe lbw. Fairbrother pushed and poked, but the others swished in vain. This was the first time England had failed to progress past the first stage of any World Cup. Ultimately, they paid for their abject performance against South Africa, and a lack of urgency in their three comfortable victories. For Flintoff, one of the disappointments of the tournament, the final indignity was having his bat stolen from the dressing-room.

Man of the Match: S. C. Ganguly. Attendance: 19,344.

Close of play: England 73-3 (20.3 overs) (Thorpe 31*, Fairbrother 1*).

© John Wisden & Co