Bell ton gives England win in dead rubber
Ian Bell hit an unbeaten 113* as England won the fifth ODI by 7 wickets at Dharamsala on Sunday.
At the HPCA Stadium’s debut international fixture, Alastair Cook won the toss and chose to bowl first to try and take advantage of the helpful conditions. Tim Bresnan backed his decision, getting rid of Rohit Sharma (4) and Virat Kohli (0) off successive deliveries in the 4th over. Steven Finn and James Tredwell followed him into the act, removing Yuvraj (0) and Gambhir (24, 42b) respectively, leaving India at 49/4.
MS Dhoni (15) couldn’t repeat the rescue act either, being trapped LBW by Finn as India slid further to 79/5 in the 22nd over. Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja worked to salvage the situation adding 78 for the 6th wicket at a fair clip. Raina brought up his 4th half century of the series with a four off Root as the batsmen tried to capitalize on the overs left from the spinners. Jadeja and Raina also brought up their 1000th and 4000th ODI run over the course of the partnership.
Raina (89, 98b, 8x4, 2x6) and the tailenders managed to biff a few around but England’s bowlers kept the damage in check, conceding a manageable 65 off the last ten overs. India couldn’t last the 50 overs, bowled out for 226 in 49.4 overs. Bresnan took 4/45 while Finn and Tredwell chipped in with 2/27 and 2/25 respectively.
Cook and Ian Bell laid a solid platform for the chase, adding 53 in 11.5 overs before Ishant bowled Cook (22) in the middle of a beautiful spell. Shami Ahmed (1/46) struck soon after that to send back Kevin Pietersen (6), giving India a sliver of hope. But Bell and Joe Root (31) stuck to the plan, working the ball around to build towards the target in a 79 run partnership for the third wicket.
Ashwin was mostly unimpressive, Jadeja (1/26) found both turn and bounce and Ishant (1/37) had the batsmen in trouble more often than not. But none had much success taking wickets. Root was bowled trying to go for a slog only for Eoin Morgan to buckle down next.
Bell’s carefully compiled 50 took 88 balls to arrive but picking up his 4000th ODI run on the way, the hundred came at a quicker rate off 133b, the first hundred of the series. At the other end Morgan was set and he burst out with a six off Ashwin. Shami Ahmed was taken for 16 in the next over and England had closed the gap from 35 needed off 6 overs to 11 off 4 overs.
The winning runs came off Bell’s bat in the 48th over, ending unbeaten on 113* (143b, 4x13, 1x6) while Morgan remained unbeaten on 40* (40b, 3x6).
England won the match by 7 wickets while India took the series 3-2.