Kohli ton propels India

Dravid, Dhoni play their part as visitors amass 304/6 in 50 overs

Kohli ton propels India

Playing his last limited-overs international, Dravid (69, 79b, 4x4), walking in and walking out to standing ovations, turned the clock back in his inimitable style while Kohli (107, 93b, 9x4, 1x6) re-established his credentials as the one for the future to take India to an impressive total in front of vastly vocal Indian supporters.

For the fifth time in a row, Mahendra Singh Dhoni lost the toss and India were promptly put in by his English counterpart Alastair Cook in overcast conditions. Moments before the game was to kick off, a sharp spell of rain arrived, forcing the start to be delated by 40 minutes. Openers Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane once again struggled to cope with the moving new ball but still managed to put up their third fifty partnership of the series.

The edgy left-right combination fell miscuing their pulls in quick succession but Dravid and Kohli brought the innings back on track with a measured association. Kohli, save the half-century in Chester-le-Street, was coming on the back a poor run of scores while Dravid hadn’t set the bridge on fire playing his last ODI series. This isn’t the first time the two have found themselves in such a situation and India couldn’t have had better batsmen to control the wobbling innings. The tyro and the veteran admirably lived up to the expectation, raising 170 runs for the fourth wicket in a matter of just 160 balls to off-set the slow scoring rate in the initial stage of the build-up.

Joining forces almost at the same time, the duo took some time to get a look-in, which meant India had just 57 runs at the end 15 overs of Power Play. Runs, however, weren’t the priority at this stage as the consolidation process began. With the field spread, the pair was happy picking singles and twos, and if the opportunity presented, an occasional four. Slowly but surely, the innings gathered momentum and runs began to flow thick and fast. It wasn’t until he had crossed 50 and the team was in some state of comfort that Kohli began to ease his arms. India had reached 133 in the first 30 overs and by the time Kohli and Dravid had seen off 10 more overs, 83 more runs had been realised between the two.

Kohli paced his innings remarkably to bring up his sixth ODI hundred, his second this year after an unbeaten 100 against Bangladesh in the World Cup opener at Dhaka. While his first 50 came off 54 balls with four hits to the fence, he took just 33 more balls to complete ton with four more fours and a six. Dravid too looked set for a three-figure score but was undone by Graeme Swann, who struck twice in the space of four balls in his return spell to peg India back. Dravid, who finished with 10,889 runs from 344 ODIs, was bowled while Kohli trod on his leg-stump while going too far back to work the ball.

The stage was then perfectly set for Dhoni and Suresh Raina to make loot. India took the batting Power Play soon after Dhoni’s arrival and once again made the most of field restrictions, adding 51 runs during the phase. Continuing his impressive form, the Indian skipper blasted his way to an unbeaten 50 off just 26 balls (5x4, 2x6) as India put up the series’ first 300-plus total.

 

 

SCORE BOARD

INDIA

Parthiv c Bresnan b Swann    19 (39b)
Rahane c Finn b Dernbach    26 47b, 3x4)
Dravid b Swann    69 (79b, 4x4)
Kohli (hit wicket) Swann    107 (93b, 9x4, 1x6)
Raina c Bresnan b Finn    15 (15b, 1x6)
Dhoni (not out)    50 (26b, 5x4, 2x6)
Jadeja c Bopara b Dernbach    0 (0b)
Ashwin (not out)   0 (0b)

Extras (B-1, LB-11, W-6)    18

Total (for 6 wkts, 50 overs)    304

Fall of wickets: 1-52 (Rahane), 2-57 (Parthiv), 3-227 (Dravid), 4-236 (Kohli), 5-284 (Raina), 6-288 (Jadeja)

Bowling: Bresnan 9-0-62-0, Finn 10-1-44-1 (w-3), Dernbach 10-0-73-2 (w-3), Swann 9-0-34-3, Patel 8-0-55-0, Bopara 4-0-24-0

Scoring pattern: after 5 overs: 19/0; 10: 43/0; 20: 84/1; 30: 133/2; 40: 216/2; End of innings: 304/6 in 50 overs.

Runs during Power Play1: 1-10 overs: 43/0; Power Play2: 11-15 overs: 14/1; Power Play3 (batting): 45-49 overs: 51/1.

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