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September 5, 2007 – An England-India ODI classic at The Oval

India needed to win the 6th ODI hosted at The Oval to have a shot at winning the series.

Robin Uthappa of India is congratulated by his team. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

India had a remarkable tour of England in 2007 when they registered their first Test series win in England in 21 years but ODI didn’t take off well. The visiting side was 1-3 down in the 7-match series but stayed alive when they registered a comfortable win in the 5th ODI at Leeds. India needed to win the 6th ODI hosted at The Oval to have a shot at winning the series. The game turned out to be an ODI classic as it was full of runs and controversies.

England, who elected to bat first, lost Alastair Cook on the 2nd ball of the game to Zaheer Khan. The other opener Matt Prior was also sent back for just six runs by Ajit Agarkar as the hosts were reduced to 20/2. Ian Bell played a counter-attacking inning along with Kevin Pietersen. The pair put on 59 runs for the 3rd wicket before Bell was cleaned up by Piyush Chawla for a 59-ball 49 that included ten boundaries.

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Controversial runout:

In the very next over, the England skipper Paul Collingwood raced to a quick single. A sharp throw from substitute fielder Dinesh Karthik seemed to have caught Collingwood short of his crease but the umpires didn’t check for the replay. However, before the next ball was bowled, the replay on big screen showed that Collingwood was indeed struggling to make it into the crease when MS Dhoni took off the bails.

Paul Collingwood has a word with umpire Peter Hartley. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

Soon, umpire Peter Hartley, who was standing in his first ODI, referred it to the third umpire and they got rid of the England skipper for just one. This didn’t please Collingwood as he didn’t like the fact that umpires decided to check the replay only after it was shown on the big screen. Pietersen, who tried to build the innings, also got run out after an 82-ball 53 leaving England at 137/5 in the 31st over after a 54-run stand with Owais Shah.

Mascarenhas’ finishing touches:

Debutant Luke Wright walked out to bat at No.7 and kept the scorecard ticking with Owais. Wright scored a 39-ball fifty with seven fours and six while Shah too kept finding the boundary regularly. The pair shared 106 runs for the 6th wicket in just 14 overs as the hosts raced towards a solid total. Owais continued his good work against the Indian bowlers to score a 91-ball ton. He remained unbeaten on 107 with 11 fours and two sixes as England moved to 286/6 before the final over bowled by Yuvraj Singh to Dimitri Mascarenhas.

Dimitri Mascarenhas and Owais Shah of England walk off after the innings. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

The England all-rounder, who had six runs in nine deliveries, failed to connect the first ball of the over. He managed to hit the next one towards the deep fielder Piyush Chawla who nearly pulled off a catch before stepping on the ropes. Yuvraj kept firing it on Mascarenhas’ legs who sent the next three deliveries over deep-midwicket to make 24 runs in the over. He ended the over in style with the biggest of the lot over the long-on fence as England finished on 316/6 thanks to the 30-run final over.

Ganguly vs Broad:

Boundaries began to flow during India’s chase as the veteran pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly hit seven boundaries in first eight overs to help the team reach 50. In the 9th over, Ganguly launched Stuart Broad over the extra-cover fence for a boundary in his typical style. This didn’t please Broad as he ended up having a few words with the senior pro after the completion of the over. Umpire Aleem Dar had to step in between to settle things down.

Stuart Broad has words with Sourav Ganguly beside Umpire Aleem Dar. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Ganguly decided to teach the young bowler a lesson when he got on strike against Broad in the 11th over. The left-handed made room for himself and sent the ball straight towards the pavilion for a maximum. Broad did have the last laugh when he dismissed Ganguly in the 23rd over to bring an end to the 150-run opening stand. The former Indian skipper made 53 off 60 balls with eight boundaries before getting out.

Tendulkar stands tall before a collapse:

Sachin Tendulkar came into the game with three fifties in the last four games and had a crucial role to play in the chase. He cleared his intentions with hat-trick fours off James Anderson in the 8th over and another set of a hat-trick against Paul Collingwood which helped him to get to his fifty in only 41 balls. By the 22nd over, Sachin got into the 90s from 72 balls as the required rate was now under six. The master-blaster was dismissed four times in the nineties on that tour before this game.

Sachin Tendulkar of India hits out during the 6th ODI. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

Tendulkar started to cramp when he was on 94 off 76 balls and wasn’t able to score for a couple of balls. A physio was needed and was set to have a runner after the 26th over. However, on the last ball of that over from Monty Panesar, Sachin hit one straight to Collingwood at mid-off. India made only six runs for the loss of two wickets between 23-26 overs. New batsman Yuvraj Singh and Rahul Dravid made 18 and 4 respectively as India remained in tatters.

Ice-cool Uthappa:

While India kept losing wickets, Gautam Gambhir made a 57-ball 47 before getting out trying to achieve the required rate. India were five down for 234 in the 41st over and further needed 83 from 58 deliveries. Robin Uthappa joined MS Dhoni at the crease and both the players kept finding boundary every over. The equation came down to 42 from the last four overs and India got that big 15-run over when Anderson raced in to bowl the 47th.

But India were once again on the back foot when a young Broad came into bowl the 48th over that produced only four runs and also dismissed Dhoni on the final delivery. Uthappa, walked down the track, kept India in the hunt with two boundaries off the first four balls in the penultimate over bowled by Anderson. But Ajit Agarkar was run out on the final ball of the over trying to keep Uthappa on strike for the final over.

Robin Uthappa of India hits out during the 6th NatWest ODI. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

Uthappa and Zaheer Khan completed a risky double on the first ball when they needed ten from six. The Karnataka batsman failed to put away a yorker Broad and got Zaheer run out at the non-striker’s end. Uthappa once again came down the track on the 3rd ball and placed it in the fine-leg region. With four needed from three balls, he drove the very next ball towards mid-off to help India level the series with an unbeaten 33-ball 47.

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