India wins first one-day international against Great Britain

A career-best five for 31 runs by India's off-spinner Harbhajan Singh helped India beat England by 39 runs Tuesday after it was bowled out for a modest 203 in the first one-day international.

Exploiting the bounce in the wicket, Singh struck when England appeared to be heading for a win, taking four wickets for nine runs off six overs in his second spell. He first struck taking the wicket of Matthew Prior for 22 runs.

Singh's earlier best performance was five wickets for 43 runs, also against England , in 2001 in Bombay .

Putting India to bat first after winning the toss, England appeared to have done exceedingly well by taming India's top order and bowling the team out in 46.4 overs.

A career-best bowling performance by seamer Kabir Ali taking four wickets for 45 runs stood out for England .

England was in trouble as soon as they came out to bat, losing Andrew Strauss and Owais Shah in the first over with only four runs on board.

Indian seamer Irfan Pathan induced an edge of Strauss' bat with an outswinger and wicket-keeper Mahender Dhoni caught him without scoring.

Pathan struck again on the fifth ball of the over by trapping Shah (4) leg before with a delivery that cut in sharply.

However, Kevin Pietersen and Matthew Prior repaired the damage by putting on 53 runs for the third wicket.

The Indians clawed back into the game after off-spinner Singh struck in his first over. Prior (22) tried to pull him over midwicket, but Gautam Gambhir sprinted some distance and held on to the ball.

That brought skipper Andrew Flintoff to the crease and his stay turned out to be the best part of England 's knock.

Both Flintoff and Pietersen cut, pulled and drove key Indian bowlers with ease and raced to a 60-run fourth wicket partnership off 48 balls.

Indian skipper Rahul Dravid brought in part-time left-arm bowler Yuvraj Singh who responded by breaking the partnership and England 's hopes of easily overhauling India 's total.

Pietersen also was caught by Gambhir in the mid-wicket region off Yuvraj Singh after scoring 46 runs, studded with nine hits to boundary.

Skipper Flintoff departed soon, trapped leg before wicket by Harbhajan Singh for 41, inclusive of two mighty sixes and four boundaries.

England was in deep trouble with five batsmen out for 117 runs. It was bowled out for 164 runs in 38.1 overs.

Earlier, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh did well with his bat and became the top scorer for India with 37 runs.

There was no devil in the wicket and India 's top order perished mostly to poor shots.

India collapsed to 68 for four off 13.3 overs.

England achieved a major breakthrough when seamer Plunkett nipped back one delivery sharply to skipper Dravid's surprise and bowled him for 34 runs, inclusive of seven boundaries.

India lost half the side for 80 runs in 19.5 overs.

A 58-run sixth-wicket partnership between Raina and Pathan stemmed the slide somewhat. But India was bowled out for 203 runs.

India and England will play seven one-dayers. The three test series ended in 1-1 draw, reports the AP.

D.M.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team