Report: India vs England – 5th ODI
Ian Bell’s third ODI century powered England to a consolation win in at the HPCA Stadium. Struggling for form of late, the England opener showed his quality and class at last as England overhauled India’s 226-run total with seven wickets and 16 balls to spare. India, however, won the series 3-2.
Chasing a modest total, Bell bound his time at the crease and paced his innings sensibly. He had Alastair Cook (22) for company for 53 runs, before a good-length ball from Ishant Sharma struck the timber behind the England captain.
Bell lost Kevin Pietersen (6) soon after that and took over the mantle of anchoring the England innings. He reached 100 in 133 balls, and en route became the fourth England batsman to complete 4,000 ODI runs.
Bell was troubled by the moving ball initially but he hung on till the conditions improved for batsmen. The confidence grew and runs started to flow with splendid ease. He had the attacking Eoin Morgan for company, who hurried the chase along with an unbeaten run-a-ball 40.
Ishant continued to enhance his upward moving graph in this series with a brilliant first spell. In six overs he gave away 10 runs for Cook’s wicket with three maiden overs. The best part about his spell was that he overcame his tendency of spraying in a couple of loose balls among the good ones. He maintained a tight line and fuller length that paid him rich dividends. Ishant finished with 1/37 in 10 overs.
Having been put into bat, India got off to a disastrous start, courtesy Tim Bresnan. The strapping England pacer got rid of Rohit Sharma (4) and Virat Kohli (0) off consecutive deliveries. Steven Finn was responsible for the second duck of India’s innings by getting Yuvraj Singh caught at point. Gautam Gambhir once again got a start, before giving it away. Ian Bell took a fine diving catch at point as the left-handed opener tried to smack a wide one from James Tredwell.
After a brief partnership, MS Dhoni (15) left Suresh Raina (83) to revive the fortunes of India’s innings from 79/5. And sure enough, the southpaw produced yet another face-saving knock for India. Raina looked every bit like a man in form that he is. After been given a life by Tredwell in slips when on five, Raina smashed Chris Woakes for three boundaries in an over, through fine-leg, cover and point.
Raina struck a fine balance between weathering the storm and taking the bowlers on during his 98-ball vigil. His 78-run partnership with Ravindra Jadeja (39) was instrumental in India breaching the 200 mark.
The stand was ended by Tredwell when he had Jadeja caught at point. Raina, who looked set to score a century, got out for 83 as he holed out to Ian Bell. He miscued a heave off Woakes, leaving India at 177/7.
With all the specialist batsmen back in the hut, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (31) gave the final flourish to the innings with some fine cricketing shots. He did justice to his 30-plus first-class batting average in the way he played the cuts, an inside-out cover-drive and a smack over midwicket to complement his strong defence. The most glorious shot of Bhuvneshwar’s knock was the straight hit over the bowler’s head for four.
Brief Scores: India 226 all out in 49.4 overs (Suresh Raina 83, Tim Bresnan 4/45) lost to England 227-3 in 47.2 overs (Ian Bell 113*, Ishant Sharma 1/37) by seven wickets
Man of the Match: Ian Bell for his match-winning unbeaten 113 (off 143 balls).
Man of the Series: Suresh Raina for scoring 277 runs @ 92.33 (SR - 91.11), which included four half-centuries and a highest score of 89*.