Match report: England v India - Fifth ODI
Cardiff, Sep 16: Jonny Bairstow made a sensational ODI debut for England, blasting his way to a 21-ball unbeaten 41 that gave the hosts a six-wicket win in another tight contest against India. The victory wraps up a 3-0 series win for England against the visitors.
After being put in to bat, India reached 304 thanks to a strong middle-order performance. Virat Kohli blitzed his way to his sixth ODI century (107 off 93 balls) while MS Dhoni provided the fireworks at the end of the innings with a 26-ball 50* that saw India score 55 runs off the last five overs.
Between Kohli’s heroics and Dhoni’s assault, it was Rahul Dravid who won the hearts of the many fans at Sophia Gardens. Playing his last ODI game, Dravid made a well-compiled 69 off 79 balls and was involved in a 170-run partnership with Kohli. Dravid was congratulated on his way back to the pavilion by each and every member of the England team when he was bowled by Graeme Swann.
England began their run chase with the prospect of a 50-over innings ahead of them. However, with rain interfering with the progress of the game, the hosts were set a revised target of 295 off 47 overs even before their run chase began. Then, with England having reached 53 for the loss of Craig Kieswetter’s wicket (lbw R Vinay Kumar) in 9.1 overs, rain once again intervened after which the hosts were required to chase down 241 in 34 overs.
With nine wickets in hand and 188 runs to get in 24.5 overs, the revised target appeared a sub-par T20 score and England chased it down with six wickets to spare. Alastair Cook once again came good with a half century (50 off 54) while Jonathan Trott with 63 off 60 pushed India on the defensive.
Even though England lost Trott and Ian Bell (26 off 21) in successive overs, Ravi Bopara and Bairstow kept their nerve, moving forward fearlessly. Needing 75 to win off 50 balls at the fall of Trott’s wicket, Bopara’s 22-ball 37* was a continuation of his innings of 96 in the previous ODI while Bairstow’s knock capped off a memorable debut for the youngster.
Brief scores: England 241/4 in 32.2 overs (Jonathan Trott 63, Alastair Cook 50, Jonny Bairstow 41*, R Vinay Kumar 1/42) beat India 304/6 in 50.0 overs (Virat Kohli 107, Rahul Dravid 69, MS Dhoni 50*, Graeme Swann 3/34) by six wickets under D/L method
Man-of-the-match: Jonny Bairstow for his dazzling 21-ball 41* on debut
Man-of-the-series: MS Dhoni for his 236 runs at an average of 78.66 from five innings