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Dernbach breakthrough leads England to victory

England won a one-day international in India, defying their recent dismal record in that format in the sub-continent. In a close, high-scoring match in Rajkot, in conditions that were ideal for batsmen, Jade Dernbach’s dismissal of the free-scoring Indian captain MS Dhoni was the turning point.

Despite being rated the number one nation at one-day cricket, England started the series as underdogs, mainly due to the fact that they hadn’t won in their last 14 one-day internationals in India dating back to 2006.

Captain Alastair Cook and Ian Bell gave England the perfect start, with an impressive partnership of 158, a new record opening stand against India. Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan added useful runs before England were becalmed in the later stages of their innings. A late and brilliant flurry from Samit Patel, adding 44 from just 24 balls, gave England a competitive but not commanding total of 325.

Spinner James Tredwell was the most effective of the England bowlers, but it was Dernbach who took the vital wicket of Dhoni, just as the Indian captain was warming up with some outlandish boundaries. Running out of batsmen, India fell nine runs short of victory.

"They kept coming at us but at the crucial times we got the wickets," Cook said. "Tredwell was exceptional to get four wickets. The calmness we showed was brilliant. If you compare that to what we were doing in 2011, there was a big difference. It was important to get a win early doors for the main reason that it gives the lads a bit of confidence."

It was also a winning start for England’s new one-day coach Ashley Giles. England head for the second match of the series in warmer climes in Kochi in confident mood, already believing they can secure their first one-day series win in India since 1985.

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