First One-Day International

India v England, 2005-06

At Delhi, March 28, 2006. India won by 39 runs. Toss: England.

A mindless collapse of seven for 47 cost England a victory which had looked theirs at 117 for three in the 20th over. But Pietersen slog-swept Yuvraj Singh to deep midwicket, Flintoff followed five balls later, also sweeping, and the rest disintegrated. Three others - Prior, Jones and Blackwell - were undone by the sweep too, and Flintoff admitted England's shot-selection had been awry. "We had them by the proverbials," he lamented. The main beneficiary was Harbhajan Singh, whose accuracy and chutzpah brought career-best figures of five for 31, after Pathan had removed Strauss and Shah in the first over. Earlier, India relied on Harbhajan's perky 37 to usher them over 200; Kabir Ali took four, also a career-best, and Blackwell tied up one end, never conceding a boundary, on a pitch sufficiently two-paced to discourage strokeplay. The total might have been lower had Shah caught Dravid at first slip on nought, but his 34 injected India's innings with crucial momentum. Harbhajan - and the generosity of England's batsmen - did the rest.

Man of the Match: Harbhajan Singh.

© John Wisden & Co.