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Steven Finn and Jonathan Trott help England draw first Test with New Zealand

Finn and Trott help save first Test as England bat their way to a draw in Dunedin

By
Paul Newman

PUBLISHED:

03:51 GMT, 10 March 2013

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UPDATED:

03:51 GMT, 10 March 2013

Steven Finn took a big stride down this lifeless Dunedin wicket ball after ball to repel New Zealand and rescue England from first Test embarrassment today in one of the great displays of nightwatchman defiance.

Not since Alex Tudor made an unbeaten 99 in England’s victory charge against New Zealand in 1999 at Edgbaston has a bowler doing a batsman’s job for England made such an impact as a nightwatchman.

It seemed an excessively cautious act by England to send Finn in ahead of Jonathan Trott when Alastair Cook was out with just over two overs left on the fourth day but far from just seeing his team through to the close the big fast bowler went on and on and on today.

Unlikely hero: Nightwatchman Steven Finn hit 50 as England drew the first Test

Unlikely hero: Nightwatchman Steven Finn hit 50 as England drew the first Test

Finn outlasted Nick Compton, Trott and Kevin Pietersen to score his first half-century in first-class cricket and go a long way towards earning England a draw that will feel like a great escape after they were humiliated for an abject 167 in their first innings.

For whatever inexplicable reason England have again been slow starters in an overseas series but have got away with their first innings negligence here and will feel that they cannot bat as badly again at either Wellington or Auckland.

They owe much of that to Finn. If the man preferred to Jimmy Anderson as nightwatchman got out early on the fifth day it is probable that England would have been on the end of one of the biggest upsets in recent Test history.

As it was they were made to battle all the way by a New Zealand side who pushed hard for what would have been one of their greatest modern wins, having England421 for six, a lead of 128, when both Brendon McCullum decided that enough was enough at the start of the last hour.

Such had been the quality of the start of England’s second innings, Compton and Cook putting on 231 for the first wicket, that England knew they just had to bat sensibly on what was effect a fourth day pitch to survive.

But Compton, who played what may turn out to be a career defining innings to record his maiden Test century on Saturday, could add only 15 to his overnight 102 before he was trapped lbw by the impressive and ever persevering Neil Wagner to give New Zealand hope.

That brought in Trott who had the rare experience of outscoring his partner as he moved smoothly along towards a fluent half-century, the only surprise coming when he was athletically caught by Wagner off his own bowling.

Kevin Pietersen, still looking rusty after his extended break from first-class cricket, arrived on a king pair but eased his first ball through midwicket for two. It could have been the cue to calm Pietersen down but he never looked comfortable before inside edging his new nemesis Wagner through to BJ Watling and departed for 12. England can only hope he is more fluent is the second Test which begins on Thursday.

When England had moved on to 382 for four at tea, a lead of 89, that seemed all but safe but the trouble was that they had scored too slowly to be out of New Zealand’s reach, only 53 runs coming in the middle session.

Certainly when Finn’s long vigil was over when he was trapped attempting to sweep the left-arm spinner Bruce Martin, after facing 203 balls for his 56, there was the hint of a twitch for England. When Joe Root was then run out without scoring the wobble was very much on.

But the bottom line was that this was a lifeless University Oval pitch, which made England’s first innings capitulation all the more inexplicable, and Ian Bell and Matt Prior were able to negotiate the remaining overs for England without alarm.

New Zealand will be able to hold their heads up high after this match. They went into the series seemingly in turmoil internally and with very few players of genuine Test-class. Yet in Neil Wagner they seem to have found a left-arm seamer with considerable enthusiasm and no little pace and in Hamish Rutherford they have found an opener who has started off in the best manner possible.

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that England, under-prepared after just one first-class warm-up match, were complacent here, even if it was sub-consciously, but they now know they are in a proper series.

The second Test follows in Wellington on Thursday and , after this experience, they will be backing themselves to do what they did in India and come back from a rotten first Test to win the series.

India in control of second test with Australia after Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar take three wickets each

India in control as Jadeja and Kumar blow Australia away in Hyderabad

PUBLISHED:

12:16 GMT, 2 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:16 GMT, 2 March 2013

India are in control of the second Test against Australia, who made 237 for nine declared in Hyderabad.

Part-time spinner Ravindra Jadeja picked up three wickets, while in his second Test Bhuvneshwar Kumar also took three, with Michael Clarke's 91 keeping the Australian innings together.

The visitors once again turned to their skipper after slumping to 63 for four, with the 31-year-old putting on 145 with Matthew Wade for the fifth wicket.

Three wickets: India's Ravindra Jadeja (left) had Australia in a spin on the first day of the second test in Hyderabad

Three wickets: India's Ravindra Jadeja (left) had Australia in a spin on the first day of the second test in Hyderabad

Second Test, Hyderabad

Australia first innings
237 for 9 declared (85.0 overs)
Clarke 91, Wade 62
B Kumar 3-53, Jadeja 3-33

India first innings
5-0 (3.0 overs)

However after Wade went for 62, the lower order failed to fire as Australia lost their final four wickets for just 29 runs.

And with little chance of numbers 10 and 11 James Pattinson and Xavier Doherty adding to the total Clarke brought them in so his bowlers could take advantage of conditions for the final three overs of the day.

However India were untroubled and finished five without loss.

Australia made two changes from the side which lost the opening match in Chennai with Glenn Maxwell making his Test debut coming in for Mitchell Starc, while Xavier Doherty replaced Nathan Lyon. The home side were unchanged.

After the visitors won the toss, Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled David Warner (six) with a delivery which cut back into the left-hander, then trapped Ed Cowan (four) lbw with a ball which may have pitched outside leg stump.

That left Australia 15 for two, with Phil Hughes and Shane Watson at the crease.

The
pair effected a mini-recovery, with the left-hander playing some
eye-catching late drives off the back foot, but Watson (23) then fell
lbw attempting to pull a ball which kept a little low with the score on
57.

Hughes (19) followed,
caught behind at the second attempt by Mahendra Singh Dhoni off the
bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin, before Wade and Clarke began the
Australian recovery.

Clarke looked comfortable at the crease, with a well-placed clip for four between two fielders indicative of his current form.

Wade
was less fluid, but equally determined, digging in at one end while his
skipper totted up the runs at the other as they moved Australia to 129
for four midway through the afternoon session.

Important innings: A 91 from captain Michael Clarke saved Australia from a humiliating total

Important innings: A 91 from captain Michael Clarke saved Australia from a humiliating total

Wade's confidence grew and when new bowler Jadeja came on to bowl, the wicketkeeper had no problem in hitting him back over his head for four.

After facing 95 balls, Clarke brought up his 26th Test half century with a single in the 48th over, edging his side closer towards 150.

On 52 India missed their best opportunity to dismiss Clarke as the skipper inside edged on his pad with the ball dropping to a diving Cheteshwar Pujara who got his fingers under the ball, but could not hang on.

Wade reached his half-century in the 55th over as Australia batted themselves back into the game.

Australia started the third session much as they ended the second, as the duo moved the score past 200 in the 65th over.

They could add just eight however before the hosts made a much-needed breakthrough. Wade cut one which was possibly too close to his body and was caught by Kumar at point for a 116-ball 62.

A sixth wicket did fall when Jadeja got one to turn away from Moises Henriques, who, playing to leg, missed the ball completely as it clipped the top of the stumps.

At 217 for six and with debutant Maxwell at the crease, the pressure once again was on Clarke.

He continued to bat sensibly, but his partner at the other end would make just 13 before he edged to Dhoni behind the stumps.

Peter Siddle was then soon walking back to the pavilion as he was caught on the crease by a low one from Harbhajan Singh for a 14-ball duck, leaving the visitors 236 for eight.

Clarke finally departed looking to up the rate with the tail, swinging across the line to Jadeja whose delivery kept low and hit the stumps.

India had little to worry about for the final three overs, with a Virender Sehwag boundary through gully off Siddle the highlight.

England beat New Zealand by five wickets to win ODI series

England clinch ODI series win as Finn blows away Black Caps in Auckland

By
David Clough, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

07:59 GMT, 23 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:06 GMT, 23 February 2013

England cashed in on a fine performance with the ball and in the field to coast to victory at Eden Park and wrap up the one-day international series 2-1 against New Zealand.

Steven Finn was the driving force as the tourists bowled their hosts out for 185, and today's decider turned into a mis-match.

Even Brendon McCullum's third successive half-century was unable to rescue a defendable total for New Zealand, albeit on a pitch which had offered plenty early on to well directed seam bowling after Alastair Cook had won the toss.

Finn when you're winning: The England fast bowler (left) picked up three wickets

Finn when you're winning: The England fast bowler (left) picked up three wickets

England's two premier exponents, Finn and James Anderson, soon reduced the hosts to a hapless 11 for three.

McCullum (79) refused to let England have it all their own way with six
fours and five sixes but, without significant support, could not turn
the tide on his own.

It seemed a foregone conclusion that England would make light work of their target.

In the event they were not flattered by a five-wicket margin, and it was
more instructive that they also had 12.3 overs to spare.

More to follow…

Swann dive: England spinner Graeme Swann swoops to catch James Franklin out

Swann dive: England spinner Graeme Swann swoops to catch James Franklin out

England hit record breaking score against New Zealand

England on song as they hit record breaking score against New Zealand

By
David Clough, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

08:02 GMT, 9 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:03 GMT, 9 February 2013

England cashed in on the curious dimensions of Eden Park to pile up a record-breaking 214 for seven in the first Twenty20 against New Zealand.

At a ground with little more than a 60-yard carry at either end, England targeted the straight boundaries in particular but thrashed plenty of other maximums to all parts, clearing the ropes 15 times – four more than they ever have before – and easily surpassing their previous highest Twenty20 score of 202 for six.

Luke Wright topped the sixes charts with four, and Eoin Morgan came closest to a half-century with 46 in an innings which saw everyone bar number seven Samit Patel achieve better than a run-a-ball.

On song: Luke Wright hit four sixes as England set an impressive total

On song: Luke Wright hit four sixes as England set an impressive total

Alex Hales soon announced England's intent, after being put into bat in this opening match of three, with their first six high over deep midwicket off Trent Boult in the second over.

Boult and his fellow left-armer Mitchell McClenaghan found some early swing, but it was still hard work to contain the batsmen.

Hales greeted the introduction of Ronnie Hira's left-arm spin with a brutal four crunched past mid-on.

But up the wicket to try to repeat the dose next ball, the opener missed one that drifted into him and was easily stumped.

It did not take long for number three Wright to upstage Hales' strike rate – and after finding his range against McClenaghan, he set the tone with a six over extra-cover for a second over from Hira which cost 21 runs.

Michael Lumb had only three, from just six balls faced, in England's first 50 runs. But he joined in with a swept four and straight six off Hira.

Form: Alex Hales did well befoe Ronnie Hira put an end to his innings

Form: Alex Hales did well befoe Ronnie Hira put an end to his innings

Gotcha: New Zealand celebrate after taking Hales' wicket

Ross Taylor, back for his first international match since being relieved of the New Zealand captaincy and then sitting out the tour of South Africa, was the darling of a crowd who had cheered wildly at the announcement of his name after the toss.

But he did nothing to endear himself further when he dropped Wright at cover off Nathan McCullum and then Lumb when he skied Andrew Ellis to deep midwicket.

Fortunately for Taylor, neither miss was costly – an aggregate 17 runs, before Wright was caught in the leg-side deep off Ellis and then Lumb miscued an attempted hook at McClenaghan to short fine-leg.

New Zealand were not helping themselves in the field, though.

Hira dropped Jonny Bairstow on 22 off Ellis, but the most obvious chance fell to McClenaghan who appeared not to sight one properly at short third-man when he put down Morgan on 33 off McCullum.

The combined cost for the Kiwis' third and fourth drops was 29 runs, Morgan miscuing Hira into the off-side to give Taylor an unmissable opportunity and Bairstow unable to clear Martin Guptill at long-on off Boult.

Jos Buttler nonetheless ensured England surged past 200 and beyond.

Cricket: England lose to New Zealand in final Twenty20 warm-up match

Dernbach the weak link as England sink in final Twenty20 warm-up match

By
Paul Newman

PUBLISHED:

06:40 GMT, 6 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:03 GMT, 7 February 2013

SCOREBOARD

New Zealand 171-7 (Latham 64, Devcich 33)

England 170-5 (Morgan 51, Buttler 51)

New Zealand win by 1 run

Click here to see the full scoreboard

England received a second welcome fillip from their captain but have concerns about the man earmarked to bowl at the death in their Twenty20 series against New Zealand.

Another encouraging display from Stuart Broad in Whangarei was more important than defeat by a New Zealand XI in the second of England’s two warm-up games ahead of Saturday’s first Twenty20 international in Auckland.

Plenty to ponder: Stuart Broad looks on after his England side fall to defeat against New Zealand XI at the Cobham Oval

Plenty to ponder: Stuart Broad looks on after his England side fall to defeat against New Zealand XI at the Cobham Oval

Yet England must decide if they
retain faith in Jade Dernbach’s ability to exert control with his myriad
of variations when the tour’s serious business begins.

Broad followed his hat-trick in
England’s opening victory with another three wickets and conceded only
24 runs in his four overs as England slipped to a last-ball three-wicket
defeat against a young New Zealand side.

But Dernbach, who suffered a
miserable one-day tour of India and lost his place in the 50-over squad
for the three matches that follow the short-form series in New Zealand,
was again expensive, going at close to 10 an over.

Batter up: New Zealand XI's Tom Latham strikes on his way to the game's high score of 64 as England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler looks on

Batter up: New Zealand XI's Tom Latham strikes on his way to the game's high score of 64 as England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler looks on

Nifty fifty: Eoin Morgan impressed with a half century but his effort of 51 was not enough to save England from defeat

Nifty fifty: Eoin Morgan impressed with a half century but his effort of 51 was not enough to save England from defeat

At least Dernbach clawed back some
credit in a final over which almost clinched an unlikely win for
England, Andrew Ellis eventually hitting the winning run off the final
ball.

Broad arrived in New Zealand complete
with new cushioned bowling boots to help protect the damaged left heel
that forced him to return home early before Christmas from England’s
Test tour of India.

It is the latest in a long line of
injuries for one of England’s most important players and the Twenty20
captain will be pleased that he has been so effective and pain-free in
his first two outings of a crucial tour for him.

Fall guy: Alex Hales reacts with disappointment after being dismissed Matt Henry

Fall guy: Alex Hales reacts with disappointment after being dismissed Matt Henry

Up top: New Zealand XI captain Andrew Ellis celebrates with team-mates after taking the wicket of Luke Wright

Up top: New Zealand XI captain Andrew Ellis celebrates with team-mates after taking the wicket of Luke Wright

England will be enthused by another
half-century from Jos Buttler who hit 51 from 31 balls in a partnership
of 87 in 8.2 overs with Eoin Morgan that took England to 170 for five
from their 20 overs.

But England’s bowling was
disappointing and Tom Latham looked to be leading New Zealand to a
comfortable victory when he struck 64 off 38 balls.

Broad and Samit Patel, who conceded
just 20 runs, brought England back into the game and they made the home
side work hard for a win that emphasised that the short-form series
should prove a close affair.

‘I think it will be tight against New
Zealand,’ said England’s Michael Lumb, who ran into form at the top of
the order with 45. ‘A lot of people have written them off but it would
be foolish to do that.’

Up in arms: Jade Dernbach unsuccessfully appeals for the wicket of Anton Devcich as England were denied a late fightback

Up in arms: Jade Dernbach unsuccessfully appeals for the wicket of Anton Devcich as England were denied a late fightback

Australia beat Sri Lanka in second Test

Johnson shines as Australia fire Ashes warning with brutal demolition of Sri Lanka inside three days

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UPDATED:

07:37 GMT, 28 December 2012

Fierce bowling from a revitalised Mitchell Johnson powered Australia to victory by an innings and 201 runs against Sri Lanka in a Boxing Day Test that ended inside three days at the MCG.

Johnson – after being left stranded eight short of a second Test century earlier in the day when Australia were dismissed for 460 in reply to Sri Lanka's first-innings 156 – captured two for 16, injured two top-order batsmen and affected a run-out as the tourists were skittled for 103.

Sri Lanka had lost seven wickets midway through day three's second session but, with Prasanna Jayawardene and Chanaka Welagedara unable to bat, and Kumar Sangakkara unable to return having retired hurt on 27, the Australians were home and dry.

The trouncing meant Australia retained the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy, with the third fixture in Sydney to start next week.

Flying high: Mitchell Johnson (left) and Matthew Wade celebrate the wicket of Tillakaratne Dilshan

Flying high: Mitchell Johnson (left) and Matthew Wade celebrate the wicket of Tillakaratne Dilshan

Party time: The Aussies celebrate as they grind down Sri Lanka in Melbourne

Party time: The Aussies celebrate as they grind down Sri Lanka in Melbourne

Johnson's brilliant second-innings effort capped a remarkable Test for the rejuvenated 31-year-old.
The left-armer claimed four for 63 – including his 200th victim – in Sri Lanka's first innings before boosting his reputation as a lower-order batsman with an unbeaten 92 in Australia's reply.

Light showers delayed the start of play by 15 minutes this morning before Australia added 20 runs for the loss of Nathan Lyon, caught at short mid-wicket for one, and Jackson Bird, comprehensively bowled by Shaminda Eranga for a duck.

Eranga (three for 109) and Dhammika Prasad (three for 106) were the leading bowlers for Sri Lanka.
The visitors could not have started the rearguard action any worse as Johnson and debutant Bird (two for 29) dismantled their flaky top order.

Unstoppable: Johnson was in stunning form in the Melbourne sunshine

Unstoppable: Johnson was in stunning form in the Melbourne sunshine

They had dramatically slumped to 13 for four midway through the morning session. Johnson started the rot with the run-out of Dimuth Karunaratne (one) in the first over and removed Tillakaratne Dilshan (nought) the next ball when Ed Cowan pouched a catch at square leg.

Bird made matters worse for the besieged tourists when he bowled Mahela Jayawardene for a duck and trapped Thilan Samaraweera lbw for one just before lunch.

Only Sangakkara (27) and Angelo Mathews (35) provided any resistance and, when the former retired hurt after copping a blow to the index finger from a Johnson bouncer, the match was in its death throes.

Sliding in: Johnson runs out Dimuth Karunaratne as Australia dominate Down Under

Sliding in: Johnson runs out Dimuth Karunaratne as Australia dominate Down Under

After Johnson bowled Mathews, Peter Siddle wrapped up Australia's win by removing Eranga for a duck.

Johnson took man-of-the-match honours ahead of Australia captain Michael Clarke who scored 106 on day two.

Shane Watson was another contributor for the winners with a gutsy 83 yesterday, but the all-rounder was unable to bowl in the second innings and is in doubt for the third Test after aggravating a chronic calf injury.

England beat India in second Twenty20 – Eoin Morgan scores six off last delivery

Final-ball drama in India as Morgan hammers maximum to hand England Twenty20 victory

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UPDATED:

18:01 GMT, 22 December 2012

Eoin Morgan hit the last ball for a straight six as England pulled off their highest Twenty20 run chase to conclude their 2012 schedule with a thrilling six-wicket victory over India.

It seemed Morgan (49no) had left it too late, with three still needed to win off the final ball from Ashok Dinda.

But the Irishman kept his cool, even after Dinda controversially pulled out of the delivery first time round with Morgan crouched in his stance.

Match winner: Morgan hit six off the final delivery to bring England level in the Twenty20 series

Match winner: Morgan hit six off the final delivery to bring England level in the Twenty20 series

An apparent rethink then worked a treat for England as Morgan stood his ground to strike a perfect blow straight back over the seamer's head to tie the two-match series.

England had earlier struggled to contain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina's late onslaught and appeared to be up against it to better 177 for eight at the Wankhede Stadium.

But on a good batting surface, and with a heavy dew making life difficult for India after Morgan had won an important toss, Michael Lumb (50) and then the captain himself scrambled England home.

Even another three economical wickets from Yuvraj Singh could not quite tip the balance India's way this time.

Lumb shared an opening stand of 80 with Alex Hales – and then after Yuvraj had done his worst, Morgan finished the job in company with Jos Buttler.

Lumb counted four from the very first ball of England's chase, thanks to a hapless Parvinder Awana misfield as he lost his footing at third-man.

The same fielder, at deep square-leg, then let the greasy ball slip out of his hands as he dropped Hales when he had just seven.

Lumb also had some minor early fortune, mishooking Awana three times in his first over – for a six, a four and a two.

There were plenty more authentic shots in his 30-ball half-century, including a second six over an unguarded long-on during the powerplay off Ravichandran Ashwin.

As in the first match in Pune, the introduction of Yuvraj's left-arm spin was soon significant.

First, Lumb went walkabout and was stumped down the leg-side to end an opening stand of 80 in the ninth over; then Luke Wright got in a tangle and was hit in front, and finally Hales picked out deep square-leg with a sweep.

In the wickets: Dernbach took two key scalps

In the wickets: Dernbach took two key scalps

Yuvraj had taken three for 18 two days ago, and this time he improved his career-best with another three for one run fewer.

Samit Patel holed out in the chase off Dinda, but Morgan and Buttler got the target down to nine off the last over and got home right at the wire.

Wright's first over and Stuart Meaker's last earlier both cost 20 runs, and England had no answer during a 60-run sixth-wicket partnership in just 27 balls between Dhoni and Raina.

Jade Dernbach had struck in only the second over when Ajinkya Rahane carved a catch down to debutant Joe Root at third-man. But first-change Meaker began poorly, with five wides somehow hurled almost straight to fine-leg before he was pulled for four twice.

Hitting out: Dhoni was joint top scorer for India with 38 runs

Hitting out: Dhoni was joint top scorer for India with 38 runs

England's outcricket took another turn for the worse when Wright overstepped for a big no-ball, and saw the free-hit slapped wide of mid-on by Virat Kohli for another boundary.

The upshot was a 50 stand for the second wicket in only 25 balls. Meaker redeemed himself with the wicket of Kohli, for the second match running, lbw pushing across the line to a ball which might have beaten leg-stump.

Wright switched ends to make amends too, with another big wicket when Yuvraj pulled to long-on to give Root some more catching practice.

Opener Gautam Gambhir was cast in the sheet-anchor role, but appeared to be taking the brief to extremes – and it was not clear to whose advantage it was when he mis-pulled Wright to be caught at a fine third-man for 17 off 27 balls.

Rohit Sharma missed a slog-sweep at
James Tredwell and was bowled but Raina was dropped on nine, a tough
chance to diving wicketkeeper Buttler off Tim Bresnan.

Then
just when it seemed England might be about to restrict India, the
left-hander went into overdrive in Meaker's last over – and Dhoni's
canny placement and power proved telling too.

England, however, had done just enough in the middle overs to give their batsmen the chance they needed.

Picture dispute

We are unable to carry live pictures from the Twenty 20 match in Mumbai due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Jonny Bairstow has flown home for family reasons

Bairstow flies home from England's T20 tour of India for family reasons

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UPDATED:

06:23 GMT, 21 December 2012

Jonny Bairstow has returned home early from England's tour of India, for family reasons.

Bairstow, left out of last night's first Twenty20 International in Pune when England preferred Jos Buttler to keep wicket, subsequently discovered during that match that he was needed at home.

The Yorkshireman will be unavailable for tomorrow's tour-ending final Twenty20 in Mumbai, having flown to England this morning.

Heading home: Jonny Bairstow will not feature in England's final T20 game after flying home for family reasons

Heading home: Jonny Bairstow will not feature in England's final T20 game after flying home for family reasons

India beat England in first Twenty20 International at Pune

Yuvraj sinks England despite Hales half-century as India triumph in first T20 at Pune

PUBLISHED:

16:40 GMT, 20 December 2012

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UPDATED:

16:57 GMT, 20 December 2012

England faltered against Yuvraj Singh's spin, after a blistering half-century from Alex Hales, and then had no answer themselves to India's strokemakers in a five-wicket Twenty20 defeat.

Yuvraj, the last of seven bowlers used by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, took three wickets for 19 runs to rudely interrupt England's fun at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium after opener Hales (56) and Luke Wright had put them in an encouraging mid-innings position.

Eoin Morgan's team lost their last five wickets for 68 runs in 10 overs to finish on 157 for six on a good batting surface.

Yuvraj himself then did some of the early steering as India coasted home with more than two overs to spare, to gain the most minor revenge in this first of two Twenty20s for England's historic Test series victory here.

It did not help the tourists' cause when new-ball pair Jade Dernbach and Tim Bresnan both started with wides, the first of 10 England would bowl.

Dernbach was guilty of three, in fact, in his first over – before Ajinkya Rahane hoisted both him and Bresnan over long-on for sixes.

After a 42-run stand, Bresnan hit back with the wickets of both openers in the same over – his first successes in international cricket on this near two-month tour.

Back in form: Yuvraj Singh took three wickets and was India's top scorer

Back in form: Yuvraj Singh took three wickets and was India's top scorer

Gautam Gambhir pulled him high and hard but picked out Hales, the tallest man on the pitch, who held on to the catch above his head at deep square-leg.

Bresnan should then have had two in two, Rahane badly dropped at short fine-leg by Stuart Meaker. But the missed chance cost only one run, because Rahane mistimed his next ball to be well-caught at mid-on by Samit Patel.

Yuvraj dominated a partnership of 49 for the third wicket, hitting Danny Briggs for six, four, six high over the leg-side in the young spinner's only over.

But Meaker then kept his cool under another high one off Wright at deep square-leg when the left-hander fell just short of another six and had to go.

India were already on course for victory by then.

Virat Kohli was bowled off an under-edge, however, trying to pull the slippery pace of Meaker – and Morgan missed one more golden chance to pull his team back into the match.

Finished the job: India captain MS Dhoni

Finished the job: India captain MS Dhoni

When Dhoni fell over and was stranded mid-pitch, having set off for a single, his opposite number produced another wild aim on England's night of wides as the run-out opportunity went begging with more than 40 runs still needed. Hales had been almost single-handedly responsible for getting England's innings off to such a promising start.

He dispatched Ashok Dinda for successive pulled fours in the first over – and after Michael Lumb was then unable to stop Ravichandran Ashwin beginning with a maiden, Hales took a heavy toll of first-change debutant Parvinder Awana and then Ravindra Jadeja.

He hit Jadeja for six over long-on, and repeated the dose off Ashwin too to take the score to 51 for one after the six-over powerplay.

Hales raced to his 50 from just 26 balls, with seven fours and those two sixes – and he and Wright took the score to 89 for one at the 10-over mark, in a stand of 68.

But Wright got underneath an attempted big hit at Yuvraj and holed out at long-off, a dismissal which kick-started the loss of three wickets for 11 runs in 16 balls – all to the slow left-armer.

Yuvraj had Morgan dropped by wicketkeeper Dhoni on four, but bowled Hales who missed a drive at the very next ball – and then got the England captain for good measure in the same over, via another mistimed shot high to long-on.

Piyush Chawla's first over had cost 15 runs, but Dhoni took his chance to recall the leg-spinner – who bowled his next two for nine as Patel and Jos Buttler tried to rebuild.

They progressed exclusively in ones, between the dots, for the next 16 balls – until Buttler clubbed the returning Ashwin over midwicket for six.

Patel's attempt at a maximum, however, resulted only in a third catch in the deep for Rahane off Dinda.

England had lost telling momentum – and despite the best efforts of the innovative Buttler in a career-best 33 not out, including successive sixes in Awana's 20th over, they could not redress the balance.

PICTURE DISPUTE

We are unable to carry live pictures from the Twenty 20 match in Pune due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

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India v England: Kevin Pietersen pictured arriving at Heathrow

Flower sees India triumph as turning point for England as KP arrives back at Heathrow

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UPDATED:

11:17 GMT, 18 December 2012

Welcome back: Kevin Pietersen is pictured arriving at Heathrow Airport this morning

Welcome back: Kevin Pietersen is pictured arriving at Heathrow Airport this morning

Andy Flower senses England’s Test team may have reached a turning point with their historic series victory in India.

A proud Kevin Pietersen was pictured returning to England after his country's momentous triumph.

The batsman, who successfully reintegrated into the squad this series after being selected by Flower, was snapped as he pushed his trolley through Heathrow Airport.

Alastair Cook’s tourists defied the pessimistic expectations of many by recovering from a nine-wicket drubbing in the first Test in Ahmedabad to win successive matches in Mumbai and Kolkata and then clinch the series with yesterday’s draw in Nagpur.

In doing so, they finished a tough year on a significant high.

Under Cook’s predecessor Andrew Strauss, a dual Ashes-winning captain, England fell from grace in 2012 with series defeats against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last winter and then at home to South Africa.

Their hard-earned world No 1 Test status was a thing of the past by the time Strauss retired four months ago – and even after their 2-1 victory here, a first in India for almost 28 years, they have lost seven of 15 matches this year.

Coach Flower believes, however, there is no reason why the future cannot be a bright one for Cook’s team.

Asked if the fightback in India – completed thanks to centuries by Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell yesterday – could be a turning point, he said: 'I think it is.

'We had a tough time in the UAE against Pakistan at the start of the year, and one of the most satisfying things at the minute – certainly for me, and I’m sure for the players – is that they’ve shown they can score runs.

'Even some of the older guys, that have been around and have excellent Test career achievements, have still adapted their game and shown their game can improve.

'They’ve done that in conditions where English teams don’t historically do very well.

'I think everyone is very proud of that.'

Spinning to victory: This picture of Graeme Swann (right) and Monty Panesar (left) was tweeted by fellow bowler James Anderson

Spinning to victory: This picture of Graeme Swann (right) and Monty Panesar (left) was tweeted by fellow bowler James Anderson

Generations of England batsmen, in particular, have been found wanting in India since David Gower’s 1984-85 tourists also prevailed by a 2-1 margin.

'It’s very satisfying for that group of 30 blokes to have come out here and adapted to these conditions and overcome the opposition,' added Flower.

'It’s taken a lot of hard work, a lot of thought and a lot of skill out there in the middle – and they should be very proud of themselves.'

Flower paid tribute to his players’ character after they adapted brilliantly to the conditions.

He told Radio 5 Live: 'After the losses in the UAE we put some training regimes in place to help the players with their knowledge of how to play spin and score runs in these conditions.

Captain fantastic: Alastair Cook ensured that the tourists ended 2012 on a high

Captain fantastic: Alastair Cook ensured that the tourists ended 2012 on a high

'The players have put hours and hours of work into improving themselves. Their improvement against spin is great testament to their character.

'I think it has been a great year for English cricket. To win here for the first time in (almost) 28 years is an historic achievement. There is plenty for us to be proud of us in this last year.'

Flower also had words of praise for Kevin Pietersen, who finished a turbulent year personally on a high, the highlight a magnificent 186 in Mumbai.

He said: 'That innings in Mumbai was outstanding. He showed incredible skill and for him to turn the game around for us in partnership with Alastair Cook was a pivotal moment in the series.'