England end ODI series on high note

2013-01-28 00:00

DHARAMSHALA — An undefeated 113 from England’s Ian Bell set up a consolation seven-wicket win for the visitors yesterday in the fifth and final ODI against India at the HPCA Stadium.

Even though they lost Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen within the space of 11 runs, Bell kept a cool head as he and Joe Root set about resuming the chase.

A stand of 79 runs came to an abrupt end when Root was castled by Ravindra Jadeja for a 31 runs.

India sensed their opportunity when Eoin Morgan walked in, but the batsmen kept the scoreboard ticking with well-judged singles.

Needing 60 off the final 10 overs, Bell and Morgan upped their pace.

The former brought up his third ODI century when he drove a leg-side full toss from Ishant Sharma through the on side for four.

Morgan (40 off 40 balls) celebrated a welcome return to form with three sixes in two overs and man of the match Bell finished it off in the 48th over with a comfortable single. His innings lasted 143 deliveries and included 13 fours and one maximum.

Earlier, India’s Suresh Raina scored 83 runs to help the hosts recover from a precarious 78 for five, to post a credible 226 and keep the visitors’ hopes alive of ending the series 4-1 up.

Opting to field, England had the hosts in a spot of bother as early as the fourth over, when Tim Bresnan induced one of the heroes of the fourth match, Rohit Sharma, to drive loosely outside off, offering a simple catch to James Tredwell at second slip.

Tredwell was in business again the very next delivery as Virat Kohli drove Bresnan in an action-replay to the right of the fast bowler who juggled a few times, but finally held onto the ball.

Yuvraj Singh survived the hat-trick delivery, but fell three overs later as he got a leading edge off Steven Finn to Morgan for a duck.

In strolled Raina, only to watch Gautam Gambhir and Mahendra Singh Dhoni trundle back to the pavilion, having consumed all of 14 overs for 50 added runs, before he found an ally in Jadeja.

The pair added a welcome 78 runs for the sixth wicket, but Tredwell put an end to their plans when Jadeja charged down the track, got an outside edge to the turning ball and was caught at point.

As is the case with most major partnerships, when the one goes, the other partner — Raina in this case — follows soon, but Raina’s 98-ball innings enabled the lower order to play with more freedom and aim for a defendable total.

Buvneshwar Kumar joined Ravichandran Ashwin, and they moved the score past 200.

Kumar hit a little cameo of 31 off only 30 deliveries, but Bresnan ended the innings swiftly in the final over as he first removed Kumar and then Shami Ahmed with two balls spare, to finish with 4-45.

Cook was happy with the win. “It was a good toss to win, but our bowlers bowled really well. Bresnan and Finn got early breakthroughs today.”

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