India and England played their first ODI series before the First World Cup, in 1974 Prudential Trophy at England. England, duly, won 2-0 in the 2-match ODI series. Both the games were much closer than what the scoreline depicts. This was India’s first-ever ODI series.
First ODI – Headingley, Leeds (13 July 1974)
Result: Eng won by 4 wickets
Score: Ind 265 (53.5 ov), Eng 266/6 (51.1 ov)
Captains: Denness (Eng), Wadekar (Ind)
50s: Wadekar (67 in 82 balls), Brajesh Patel (82 in 78 balls), Edrich (90 in 97 balls)
Sent to bat first Indian openers Gavaskar (28) and S Naik (18) added 44 runs. Naik was followed by Gavaskar and Viswanath (4). From 60/3 captain Wadekar (67) and Wicketkeeper Engineer (32) took India to 130/4. Wadekar added 51 runs with Brajesh Patel for 5th wicket. Solkar (3) could not do much. But Patel (82) with Abid Ali (17) added 52 valuable runs. With Patel’s fall as 9th wicket India were folded on 265.
English bowler C Old with 3/43 was the most successful bowler even in ODI match. Arnold, Jackman and Woolmer grabbed 2 wickets each. Tony Greig was most expensive with 63/1, taking the most important wicket of Patel.
English openers Amiss (20) and Lloyd (34) added 37 runs. Edrich (90) played the match winning knock. Captain Denness (8) failed. But With Fletcher (39) Edrich added 83 runs for 4th wicket. Tony (40) and wicketkeeper Knott (15*) saw England win easily.
Solkar (2/31) was the most successful Indian bowler. Bedi also took 2 wickets but gave away 68 runs in 11 overs. Madan Lal and Venky got a wicket each.
Patel hit 2 sixes, while Gavaskar, Edrich and Tony hit a six each.
Arnold bowled the only maiden over for England. Solkar and Madan Lal bowled a maiden each for India.
Second ODI – Oval
Result: Eng won by 6 wickets
Score: Ind 171 (47.3 ov), Eng 172 (48.5 ov)
50s: 55* by Fletcher
Electing to bat first Indian openers Gavaskar (20) and Naik (20) added 40 runs. After Gavaskar’s wicket flurry of wickets took place. Nauk, G Bose (13), Wadekar (6), Engineer (4) and Patel (12) followed in quick succession leaving India reeling at 94/6. Viswanath (32) with Vinoo Mankad (44) took India to 139. Mankad fell as the last wicket.
Jackman (3/41) and C Old (3/36) were the most destructive. Tony grabbed 2/27 while Underwood got 1/36.
Abid Ali (1/21) and Solkar (0/37) with 3 maidens each nailed the English batsmen. Even Madan Lal (1/23) the most economical bowler of the game and G Bose (1/39) with 2 maidens made the chase difficult. But Vinoo Mankad (1/47 in 5.5 overs) failed to control the run flow.
Despite being 4/113 with openers Smith (6), loyd (39), Edrich (19), and captain Denness (24) falling, Fletcher (55) and Tony (24*) joined hands to add 59 runs and take England home without further loss.
Both the teams failed to hit a six in the low scoring game.