India started cautiously, with seven runs being scored of the first five overs. Then Tendulkar opened up (2-4-4-4-0-4 in the sixth over) and India never looked back. His 59 ball 71 and Ganguly’s 79 ball 59 was responsible for setting up India’s victory. I had earlier written that the only way India were going to win a match is if they bat first and score high. That is exactly what happened here and in the both wins India have had so far, the 1st wicket didn’t fall until the 20th over and the score close to 120.
Yuvraj (72 of 57 balls) and Gambhir (51 of 66) then helped push the score to 324. This large total coupled with some rain and a slightly better bowling performance ensured an Indian victory. As is customary these days, India dropped the obligatory three catches and in spite of a very good performance from Collingwood, the total was too big to chase down thanks to Messers. Duckworth and Lewis.
With this win, India have managed to keep the series alive. But for how long? We will soon find out when the ODI series resumes on Wednesday at The Oval. It is highly likely that India may continue with a four bowler combination that they went with in this match.