For the better part of forty-two overs of England’s innings, the winner was not in doubt. It was the last eight overs of the match that brought the match to a head as England, chasing 338 for victory and doing it in style, stuttered and India almost made a brilliant comeback before the eventual outcome turned out to be a tie in the Ind v Eng ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 match in Bengaluru.
M. Chinnaswamy Stadium had to give the England captain, Andrew Strauss a standing ovation for almost singlehandedly winning the match for his team against all odds. England were expected to succumb to the pressure of chasing 338 but if the possibility of winning the match was brought in their realm, it was because of the likes of Strauss in the company of Jonathan Trott is particular but also, with the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell.
Strauss hit a spectacular 158 from only 145 balls to counter the great fillip provided by Tendulkar’s century during India’s innings. The Indian bowlers simply could not get a hold on the match with England returning fire with fire and making it even harder on Mahendra Singh Dhoni to go for plan B. What was expected to be a tough ordeal for Strauss and his men turned into a serious headache for Dhoni and company.
The manner in which Strauss kept forming partnerships, and in particular the 170 run partnership between Strauss and Bell, who made a fine half century himself, brought England on the brink of victory. India, it seemed, had been given a rude awakening.
However, Zaheer Khan, in his final spell, produced one that England struggled to overcome. Overcome by cramps, Bell’s shot seemed one of tiredness. But to have been followed in the next ball by the lbw to Strauss was too much of a blow for England who went from two down since the seventeenth over to four for 281 in the forty-third over.
The match changed dramatically with India considered in the favourite position given that England’s established batsmen had departed and Paul Collingwood gave his wicket away to make it one horrendous powerplay for England.
The tailenders pulled England back from needing twenty-nine from twelve balls and fourteen balls from six balls. Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann and Ajmal Shahzad used the long handle to make sure England at least tied the match, a decision that would be hard on both teams to accept given that India would have fancied themselves at hard time and England would have while Strauss was going on.