Vineet Ramakrishnan/Zeenews Sports Bureau
The first ODI of the Natwest series between India and England has been abandoned due to rain.
Much to the dismay of Indian fans and probably the Indian players rain played spoilsport as India were evidently ahead in the match.
Praveen Kumar had provided India a good start with the ball as he scalped Captain Alastair Cook and Craig Kieswetter.
With 27 on board and both the openers gone, England were on the backfoot with Jonathan Trott (14*) and Ian Bell (2*) in the middle when heavy downpour stopped play.
In the first innings, Powered by a well compiled 95 by Parthiv Patel, India finished with 275 for 8 against England in the first ODI of the Natwest series at Chester-le-Street.
Parthiv and Rahane (40) had given India a good start which was carried forward by Virat Kohli (55) in the middle and ended by captain MS Dhoni (33) and Suresh Raina (38).
For England Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan picked up two wickets each.
With the kind of start the openers had provided India would have liked to finish their innings with 10 to 15 more and England would have been happy to have restricted the visitors under 280.
The Twenty20 alliance for India once again proved to be good as both Rahane and Patel looked positive right from the onset. Parthiv Patel’s innings was a delight to watch as the southpaw displayed his full array of strokes all around the ground and was not afraid to tackle the short pitch deliveries with brave pulls and hooks against the quickies.
Even Ajinkya Rahane who had impressed during his Twenty20 debut matched Parthiv run to run in his ODI debut as well. Rahane looked technically sound and also smacked some hefty blows over the top.
Stuart Broad though came back well to pick up Rahane off a short delivery. Immediately after, in a very dubious decision Broad also scalped Rahul Dravid for just two runs.
In yet another controversial decision, which included Hot Spot technology and Rahul Dravid, the Hot-Spot failed to register any edge when Dravid seemed to have edged Stuart Broad to keeper Prior.
Third Umpire Marais Erasmus went with the noise and the original decision of on-field umpire Billy Doctrove was overturned.
Virat Kohli, who replaced Dravid continued his good form in the One day format with yet another breezy half century. He along with Parthiv put on a healthy 100 run partnership in the middle overs to maintain the run-rate set by the openers.
England captain Alastair Cook's persistence with short pitch delivery failed to provide any dividend later on as both Parthiv and Kohli looked at ease playing the hook and pull.
Another main feature of the partnership was good running between the wickets.
By 35th over India were close to 200 and a final score of 300 was looking gettable but a rare lapse in concentration led to the demise of Parthiv Patel just five runs short of a maiden century.
The southpaw, in a bid to whack a wide delivery outside off-stump ended up edging it to Prior on 95.
Rohit Sharma, who came in next was retied hurt first ball after a rising delivery from Broad hit his fingers.
It was later confirmed that the talented middle order batsman had fractured his fingers and will be mising the rest of the tour.
Another injury, and another SOS will be send to India for a replacement for Sharma. Hopefully, selectors would be able to find a fit player.
Raina walked in next to a familiar territory of limited overs format and immediately he looked at ease and started middling the ball confidently.
His knock of 38 included two massive sixes, one over long-off and other over square leg but he was undone by a well disguised slower bouncer by Jade Dernbach.
Captain MS Dhoni wielded his bat a bit to push India past the 250-run mark but Bresnan ensured that Dhoni won’t be around to finish off the innings on a high.