India Thrash England by 126 Runs in Series Opener

Hyderabad, Oct 14 (Agencies): With skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina leading on the batting front, bowlers R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, with 3 wickets each, steered India to a massive 126-run victory in the first ODI against England in Hyderabad today.

Dhoni and Suresh Raina hit robust half-centuries to lift India to 300-7.

The pair put on 72 for the fifth wicket in 10 overs after the injury-ravaged world champions, electing to take first strike, were reduced to 123-4 by the 29th over.

Dhoni smashed an unbeaten 87 off 70 balls with 10 boundaries and a six, while left-handed Raina made 61 from 55 balls on a slow pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

Rajendra Jadeja chipped in with 27 off 22 balls at the end as India hammered 91 runs in the last 10 overs.

India, playing their first international at home since the World Cup triumph in April, were without star batsman Sachin Tendulkar and at least six other regulars, due to injury or poor form.

The hosts will look to defend the total with a new-look bowling attack in which three specialists have played only 25 one-dayers between them.

England's bowlers contained the top order despite the absence of pace spearhead James Anderson, who was rested for the five-match series, and the injured Stuart Broad.

Opener Parthiv Patel was unlucky to be run out in the fourth over when he backed up too far at the non-striker's end and the ball deflected off bowler Steven Finn's fingers on to the stumps.

Ajinkya Rahane, dropped on 0 by Jonathan Trott in the slips, plodded to 15 off 41 balls when he was stumped from off-spinner Graeme Swann's fourth delivery.

India slipped to 79-3 by the 18th over when Gautam Gambhir (32) was leg-before slow full-toss from seamer Jade Dernbach.

Virat Kohli (37) put on 44 for the fourth wicket with Raina when he fell to a head-high catch at long-off by Kevin Pietersen off left-arm spinner Samit Patel.

India were blanked 4-0 in the Test series and lost the one-dayers 3-0 in their recent tour of England.


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