England rode on Ian Bell’s unbeaten century to salvage some pride by winning the fifth and final one-dayer by seven wickets and reduce the margin of defeat to 3-2 here on Sunday.
The visitors first dismissed the hosts for a modest 226 and then relied on Bell’s third ODI ton — 113 not out — to overhaul the target with 16 balls to spare at the HPCA stadium which hosted its first international match.
The Indians, who had already clinched the series in Mohali by taking an unassailable 3-1 lead, were done in by some poor shots by their top order batsmen and could never really recover from the early jolts despite Suresh Raina’s brilliant effort of 83 under pressure.
Bresnan does the damage
Tim Bresnan caused the bulk of the damage with 4/45 while Steve Finn and James Tredwell chipped in with two wickets apiece as the English bowlers exploited the bowler-friendly conditions after winning the toss and putting the home side into bat.
The Indians slumped to a precarious 79 for five as Gautam Gambhir (24), Rohit Sharma (4), Virat Kohli (0), Yuvraj Singh (0) and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (15) perished in quick succession. Raina’s brilliant counter-attacking 83 off 98 balls and some useful contributions from Ravindra Jadeja (39) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (31) took India to 226.
England openers Alastair Cook and Ian Bell started confidently putting in 53 runs before Ishant Sharma, who bowled an incisive first spell, broke the partnership.
Ishant’s brilliant first spell figures read 5-3-9-1 but Shami Ahmed and Bhuvneshwar Kumar leaked a few boundaries.
Bell, by far England’s most consistent ODI player in recent times, carried on with minimum fuss, punishing the bowlers for loose balls and also guiding the talented Joe Root as the duo cruised along in their 79-run third wicket stand. Bell reached the 90s with a reverse sweep off Ravichandran Ashwin, who was trying too many variations without much success. He reached a well deserved century by clipping Ishant to mid-wicket fence. Bell was joined by another seasoned pro in Eoin Morgan who hit Ashwin for a huge six followed by even bigger sixes off Shami Ahmed’s bowling as they closed the match with consummate ease.
Raina, Jadeja steer the Indian innnings
Earlier, a swashbuckling knock by Suresh Raina helped India reach a decent a total of 226 in 49.4 overs after they were pegged back at 79 for five at one stage. Raina, who scored 83 off 98 balls, added 78 runs for the sixth wicket with Jadeja. Jadeja’s contribution was 39 off 65 balls with a boundary and two sixes. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also did his bit by scoring 31 runs that helped India cross the 225-run mark.PTI
Gautam Gambhir c Bell b Tredwell 24
Rohit Sharma c Tredwell b Bresnan 4
Virat Kohli c Tredwell b Bresnan 0
Yuvraj Singh c Morgan b Finn 0
Suresh Raina c Bell b Woakes 83
M S Dhoni lbw b Finn 15
Ravindra Jadejac Bell b Tredwell 39
R Ashwin c Finn b Patel 19
Bhuvneshwar Kumarc Finn b Bresnan 31
Shami Ahmed c & b Bresnan 1
Ishant Sharma not out 0
(lb 4, w 7)
1-13, 2-13, 3-24, 4-49, 5-79, 6-157,
7-177, 8-211, 9-225, 10-226.
Steven Finn 10-2-28-2, Tim Bresnan 9.4-1-45-4,
Chris Woakes 9-1-45-1, James Tredwell10-1-25-2, Joe Root
5-0-34-0, Samit Patel 6-0-46-1.
Alastair Cook b I Sharma 22
Ian Bellnot out 113
Kevin Pietersenc Jadeja b Shami Ahmed 6
Joe Root b Jadeja 31
Eoin Morgannot out 40
(lb 8, w 7)
: 1-53, 2-64, 3-143
:Bhuvneshwar Kumar 9-1-45-0, Shami Ahmed
9-1-46-1, Ishant Sharma 10-3-37-1, R Ashwin 10-0-50-0,
Yuvraj Singh 2-0-15-0, Ravindra Jadeja 7.2-0-26-1.