At Jamshedpur, April 12, 2006. England won by five wickets. Toss: India. International debut:
V. R. Singh.
In temperatures hitting 43°C, England sweated their way to a consolation victory - thanks to
Strauss. In his first outing as England captain, he retired exhausted after facing 85 balls in 137
minutes, and was immediately put on a saline drip in the dressing-room. But, with the score 159
for two and only 65 more required, his job was already three-quarters done; Pietersen's brisk 33
rendered the loss of three late wickets irrelevant. Earlier, India's batsmen failed to make the most of a pitch that was true but slow. From 79 for five, they were dragged towards respectability by
the explosive Dhoni, who smashed ten fours and three sixes in 106 balls after being promoted to
open in his home state, and Powar, who hit his first fifty for India. But England's seamers, apart
from Hoggard, kept their cool in the heat, and Blackwell proved economical yet again. Once
Strauss and Bell - caught off a Vikram Singh no-ball on 22 - had opened with 107, the game
was as good as won.
Man of the Match: A. J. Strauss.
© John Wisden & Co.