May 22 2013 Latest news:
By Harry Kemble in Dharamsala
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Ian Bell smashed a sparkling 113 to ensure England finished the One-Day International series on high in Dharamsala as they beat India by seven wickets with 16 balls to spare.
The Warwickshire batsman batted throughout his side’s pursuit of India’s total 226 hitting thirteen fours and three sixes, showing a degree of nous that has so often been missing for England in the series.
Eoin Morgan’s run-a-ball 40 along with Joe Root (31) aided Bell’s assault on India’s luckless bowlers to win the “dead-rubber” and giving the 3-2 score line some respectability for Alastair Cook’s side.
England’s bowling attacked performed magnificently to keep India’s batsman in check.
Tim Bresnan – playing in his last England match before he returns to the UK – took 4-45 while James Tredwell (2-25) and Steve Finn (2-27) bowled magnificently too - although the same could not be said about England’s catching.
England knew a measured approach in their batting chase would see them comfortably home.
Bell and Cook took few risks as they cruised to 50 after the first power play but a fiery Ishant Sharma delivery went straight through the England’s captain’s defence clean bowling him.
Kevin Pietersen was, once again, not at his fluent best, scratching around for six runs before he attempted to dispatch the twelfth ball he faced into the neighbouring Dhauladhar Mountains. However, he only succeeded in finding Ravi Jadeja on the midwicket boundary.
At 64-2 off 18 overs England knew they had work still to do but the incoming Root orchestrated an extremely useful 79 runs partnership with the Warwickshire batsman.
Root will be annoyed with himself for blotting his, until now, exemplarily record when he thrashed across the line to be bowled by Jadeja on 31. Nonetheless, he and his senior colleague had taken England to within 83 runs of their target.
Morgan has long been recognised as England’s “finished” playing the same role which Dhoni is often accustomed to for India. And the Irish-born batsman did not disappoint.
Three lofty sixes saw England canter to their target taking the sting out of the Dharamsala crowd – many of whom had seen enough well before the finish.
India had limped to their total as England got the better of the conditions on a pitch that had something for all the bowlers.
Bresnan snapped up the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli next ball to leave India 13 for two inside four overs, showing that maybe his elbow is not troubling him as much as the selectors first thought.
Tredwell pouched both catches at slip in identical fashion; Sharma and Kohli flashing outside their off-stump to the Yorkshire seamer.
Thirteen balls later Yuvraj Singh was walking back to the pavilion too after Morgan smartly caught a leading edge at point.
Twenty-four for three became 49 for four when Gautam Gambhir’s shot was held by Bell diving to his left.
Dhoni was trapped in front off Steve Finn for 15 - India were in a pickle at 79 for 5 having not even reached the 25-over mark.
But Raina galvanised the innings, scoring his seventh fifty in his last 11 innings despite being dropped on five by Tredwell not long after catching Sharma and Kohli.
The left-hander along with the equally impressive Jadeja knocked a vital half-century partnership off 76 balls, lifting the hosts to 150 after 37 overs but not before Raina was dropped ungainly – on this occasion by Cook on 61.
Two overs later England managed to break the stand thanks to Tredwell, who seemed unable to avoid the spotlight having taken two wickets with the ball, two catches before dropping two more.
Jadeja, on 39, danced down the wicket only to chip to Bell, a move that would have infuriated his captain with more than ten overs still to go.
The Warwickshire player then showed his teammates how to do it when he caught Raina, finally, for 83 off 98 balls.
Some lusty blows from Ashwin (19) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (31) helped India over 200, but not before two more drop catches by Samit Patel and Tredwell again.