Andrew Strauss's brilliant knock of 158 and Graeme Swann's gutsy 15 not out at the end helped England to tie their World Cup match with India in a breathtaking match in Bangalore.
India and England play out a thrilling tie
England innings at the end of the 50th over: 338 for eight - MATCH IS TIED
Bell was given a second chance after Kohli dropped him at slip at the start of the 42nd over. It was a regulation catch and the India fielder summed up the deflation sweeping through the India team.
However, Bell (69) was not to get a third chance as he skied a slower ball from Zaheer straight into the waiting arms of Kohli, who did well to hold his nerve considering his blunder just a few minutes earlier. .
And that was when the pendulum swung back in India's favour as Zaheer took a double when he trapped Strauss lbw with a searing yorker on the very next ball to end the captain's stand on 158.
With Paul Collingwood and Matt Prior at the crease for the final power play, India sensed that they had doused the England fire and Zaheer took his third wicket in quick succession when he uprooted Collingwood's middle stump to leave England on 285 for five and still needing another 54 runs from 33 balls.
Prior was next to fall, this time to Harbhajan who found some extra bounce and it found an edge that saw it sore high in the air for Raina to catch.
India had a spring in their step again, their fielders visibly bouncing around, while England looked shellshocked having gone from a position of looking like pulling off the biggest run-chase in World Cup history to men resigned to their fate. Yardy went for just 13 runs, while Bresnan and Swann kept the tie alive with monster sixes each with an over to spare before Bresnan's brief cameo was ended after he went to the well once too often against Chawla, who took his leg stump.
Just when it looked like England were down and out, Shahzad and Swann dragged England on with each scoring huge sixes before Swann got the single that tied the game.
England innings at the end of the 40th over: 272 for two
Strauss hit the fourth biggest six at the World Cup so far (94 metres) when he stepped down the track to Yuvraj and lifted the ball miles over wide long-on. For added good measure, it also brought up the hundred partnership with Bell.
Not to be outdone by his captain, Bell brought up his half-century in 45 balls in similar fashion with a six off the bowling of Chawla and the India bowler's miserable spell was compounded when Strauss rattled off another boundary to surpass Tendulkar as the top scorer in the match.
Munaf was introduced back into the attack after the drinks break but Strauss and Bell continued to pick their shots and keep up with the required run-rate with England on 237 for two with 15 overs still to play.
Harbhajan and Patel helped dry the runs up a little, with Bell and Strauss reduced to taking singles more often than they had previously, but the two Englishman continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over and kept in contention to take the chase right down to the wire.
Sloppy fielding allowed Bell to bring up the 150 partnership with Strauss, with Dhoni guilty of ducking out of the way of Harbhajan's throw from extra cover.
Few in the crowd would have begrudged Strauss reaching 150 after Chawla bowled short again and Strauss dispatched in typically emphatic fashion.
Dhoni introduced Harbhajan back into the bowling attack in a bid to stem the flow but the spinner could do little to stop Strauss, as the five runs he recorded in the 41st over saw him surpass his previous best score in the 50-over format of 154.
England innings at the end of the 30th over: 196 for two
Strauss notches a century with a single shortly after hitting his 13th four of the innings. His single to the cover sweeper is his sixth ODI hundred and with Bell adding some valubale runs England stand at 190 for two at the end of the 29th over.
India were 165 for one at the same stage so England are well close enough to required run-rate to silence the crownd in Bangalore.
Zaheer, who has visibly toiled the longer the match has gone on, does not look a bowler in tune at the moment as Bell reaches 33 after getting a slice o fluck when Zaheer finds the edge but the ball rifles down to the third man rope.
England innings at the end of the 20th over: 132 for two
Strauss brought up his 4,000th run in ODIs sweeping Harbhajan to Gambhir at long-leg for a single as his new partner at the wicket Jonathon Trott was happy to play a supporting role ot his captain early on.
England were 102 for one at the start of their 14th over, still needing 237 runs to win and Strauss hit his second half-century in consecutive matches when he knocked Chawla for four midway through the over, although poor fielding from Tendulkar at fine-leg certainly played a massive part in the ball hitting the boundary.
Trott could only add 16 to England's tally as Chawla trapped him lbw for India's second scalp leavng England on 111 for two meaning Ian Bell was next in to try and steady the flagging England top order.
England innings at the end of the 10th over: 77 for one
England's chase almost got off to the worst possible start when Munaf Patel had a strong shout for a catch behind and an lbw off Kevin Pietersen. Patel's leg-cutter landed around about off stump and cut away past Pietersen's tepid defensive stroke and hit the back thingh, marginally outside off stump, before carrying through to Dhoni.
Pietersen made the most of his reprieve with thenext ball to hit the boundary after clipping a ball nicely to the backward square-leg boundary.
Andrew Strauss, his opening partner, looked accomplised early on, with two fours helping him to 20 runs by the end of the fifth over.
England used their first power play at the beginning of the sixth over and this time it was Strauss living dangerously as he heaved a ball from Patel out to the left of mid-on where Harbhajan inexcusably tried to catch the ball with one hand. The spinner was not too far away but would have been better served trying to catch it with two hands, which would have prevented another boundary and sent the England captain packing.
Strauss brought up the half-century partnership with a single off Patel in the seventh over, but Pietersen was soon heading back to the changing room after being caught and bowled by Patel, who knew very little about the catch as he looks as if he was trying to protect his face, with just 32 runs to his name.
England have a mountain to climb in Bangalore after India put on an early-innings masterclass before a late collapse to post a daunting total of 338.
Star of the show for the World Cup hosts was undoubtedly Sachin Tendulkar, who scored 120 before England finally got him out after the "Little Master" edged a ball from James Anderson to cover where a greatful Michael Yardy was on hand to take the catch.
England will need plenty of early runs from their opening pair of Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss if they are to threaten India's total.
India innings at the end of 50 ovesr: 338 all out
India's innings ended tamely as Zaheer was run out caught short after trying to steal a second after pulling the ball to miwicket but by then India knew they had already left England with what could fairly be described a mountain to climb chasing 339 to win the match.
The tail-end were mopped up with relative little fuss, with England seamer Tim Bresnan taking five wickets, although by the time he claimed Zaheer (4) at the death the damage had already been well and truly done.
Yusuf Pathan and Virat Kohli threatened briefly to extend England's turmoil with Pathan turning a yorker from Anderson into a half-volley and sending it sailing into the stands. Two balls later, Anderson had his head in his hands again as Graeme Swann made a hash of stopping a relatively simple stop at fine leg and allowed it to run for four.
However, Swann made amends on the 48th over when Pathan swung wildly and only succeeded in looping it to mid-off. Kohli followed the very next ball, again bowled by Bresnan, who took out the base of Kohli's off stump with a fine yorker.
Harbhajan was next to follow two balls later as India lost all momentum when he was out lbw to Bresnan, who has by far been England's most impressive performer.
Cahwla (2) set out on a run after hitting the ball straight back to Anderson, who took the bails off with ease beforer Bresnan cleared up the tail-end when Zaheer was ran out on the final ball of the innings.
India innings at the end of the 46th over: 305 for five
Pathan hacking in Wright's direction just like his captain did but brings up another boundary instead of heading for the pavillion. This time though Wright didn't quite pick it up and dived in too late, reached him on the bounce and burst through to the ropes.
Yusuf Pathan is the new batsman, but he can only watch from the non-striker's end as Dhoni holes out at deep mid-wicket, to sub fielder Luke Wright who's on the field for Yardy.
India innings at the end of the 30th over: 181 for two
Tendulkar brings up his 50 in fine style in the 21st over. Off the bowling of Collingwood he hits through the line and over the midwicket boundary for six.
India continue to chip away at Collingwood and Yardy in ones and twos at around five runs an over. Shazhad is brought back into the attack as the second wicket partnership approaches 100. Yardy goes for seven more before he is taken off. Swann replaces him. His first two deliveries in the 27th over to Tendulkar goes for a huge pair of sixes. The first one brings up the 100 partnership, the second sees India past 150. It sends the crowd inside the M Chinnaswamy Stadium into a frenzy.
Shazhad goes for a boundary off Gambhir, who edges closer to his half century.
After Swann’s over going for 15, Strauss brings back Anderson into the attack. Tendulkar likes the look of England’s out-of-sorts fast bowler and is given width to drive and cut two boundaries in succession. A single follows allowing Gambhir to reach his 50 with a fortunate inside-edge.
Swann is brought back into the attack and finally finds a breakthrough for England. Gambhir misreads an off-spinner. The turn beats the bat and clips the top of off-stump. Gambhir exits on 51 off 61.
Yuvraj Singh joins Tendulkar at the crease. He scores a single off his second ball. Tendulkar is on 88 off 91 balls.
India innings at the end of the 20th over: 111 for one
The bowling power play is taken with Graeme Swann into the attack. Brsenan continued to operate from the other end. Gambhir and Tendulkar are watchful during Swann’s first over with just two singles from it. When Swann returns in the 13th over Gambhir helps himself to two boundaries in two balls — coming down the track and lofting over mid-on for the first and then finding an inside edge for the second.
Bresnan responds for England with a maiden over bowling at the watchful Tendulkar. Swann continues to go for runs in the third over of his spell. Gambhir, taking on the hitting role vacated by Sehwag, while Tendulkar anchors the Indian innings, opens up and lofts over the covers. Swann concedes three more.
India continue to chip away with singles after the bowling power play and reach 96 for one before Strauss brings Paul Collingwood into the attack after drinks. On the fourth delivery, Tendulkar brings up the 100 for India with an effortless chip through mid-off for six. India’s 100 comes off 106 balls.
Michael Yardy comes into the attack for the 19th over. His non-spinning slow deliveries are dealt with in singles from Tendulkar and Gambhir who score five of them. At the end of the 20th over India reach 111 for one with Tendulkar on 43 and Gambhir on 30.
India innings at the end of the 10th over: 58 for one
Electing to bat first, India almost come undone on the very first ball of the innings. Virender Sehwag flashes a thick edge off the bowling of James Anderson over Graeme Swann at second slip.
The England spinner cannot quite reach it and it races for four. Sehwag then finds a leading edge and it balloons over Ian Bell at extra-cover for two more.
Sehwag then clubs five more boundaries off the bowling of the England opening pair of Anderson and Ajmal Shazhad with the hosts racing to 44 without loss at the end of the seventh over.
That prompts Andrew Strauss to bring on Tim Bresnan. The Yorkshire bowler does the trick and finds Sehwag’s edge to Matthew Prior. The opener makes 36 from 26 deliveries.
Sachin Tendulkar, India’s other opener has a quiet start to his innings, but now settled, whips two boundaries in the eighth over through the leg-side. He and Gautaum Gambhir reach the end of the 10th over with India on 58 for one.
BANGALORE // Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the India captain, won the toss and elected to bat against an England side that was missing bowler Stuart Broad in their World Cup Group B match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Both sides go into the match after winning their opening fixtures. India defeated Bangladesh by 87 runs at Dhaka in the tournament opener on February 19 while England beat Netherlands by six wickets at Nagpur last Tuesday.
India decided to go with an additional spinner, bringing in leg-spinner Piyush Chawla for the pace bowler Shantakumaran Sreesanth.
For England, Broad and Ravi Bopara made way for Ajmal Shahzad and Michael Yardy. Broad made his announcement unofficially before the match via Twitter.
"Good luck lads, gutted I'm not there. Will be watching from the bed I've not left for two days.... Never felt worse," he tweeted from his hotel room.
Broad is the latest in a long line of fitness issues with the England team after a long Ashes tour took a physical and mental toll on the team.
India: Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Yusuf Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel.
England: Andrew Strauss (captain), Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior, Michael Yardy, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Ajmal Shahzad.
Umpires: Billy Bowden, New Zealand, and Marais Erasmus, South Africa.
TV umpire: Rodney Tucker, Australia.
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama, Sri Lanka.