Bell's ton fashions England win

Cricket Final ODI: Cooks men beat India by seven wickets in the fifth match but hosts clinch series 3-2

Bell's ton fashions England win

Ian Bell, with an unbeaten century, starred in England’s comprehensive seven-wicket victory over India in the fifth and last one-dayer on Sunday.

His effort, in the breathtaking ambience of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium, ensured that the series ended for England just the way it had started-- with a victory.

India took solace in claiming the five-match series 3-2, winning in Kochi, Ranchi and Mohali, but the defeat on Sunday broke the hearts of thousands who had come to witness the first ever ODI in this hilly town.

On a day when the sun shone in brief spells, Steven Finn (2-27) and Tim Bresnan (4-45) bowled incisively, swinging and seaming the ball in helpful conditions in the morning to restrict the Indians to 227 all out in 49.4 overs. The half-hearted display by the Indian batsmen, with the exception of Suresh Raina (83, 98 balls, 8x4, 2x6), only made the English task easy.

Bell’s delightful century (113, 143 balls, 13x4, 1x6) gave wings to England’s chase and the tourists reached the target in 47.2 overs. Though the departures of captain Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen raised the Indian hopes briefly, it was England all the way on this day.

Bell, talented but inconsistent, was sublime in the manner he shouldered the England innings and along with Eoin Morgan took the side home. Ishant Sharma was the pick of the Indian bowlers with figures of 1-37 in 10 overs but overall the Indian attack floundered in amiable conditions. Same could be said of their batting.

The past demons returned to haunt India whose top five batsmen were blown away with only 79 runs on the board. Rohit Sharma, once again filling in the opener's slot, gave a glimpse of his talent with a crunchy square drive off Tim Bresnan. But the Yorkshire pacer lured him into driving in his next over and was caught by James Tredwell at second slip.

Virat Kohli departed in an identical fashion and put Bresnan on the verge of hat-trick. Yuvraj Singh survived but not for long, though. He tried to play Steven Finn on the up but got a leading edge that flew straight to Morgan at point.

Amidst all this Gautam Gambhir, struggling as ever, did provide sporadic relief with some sweetly timed boundaries – straight and square being his are of choice. But Finn, coming round the wicket, troubled him with his short pitched deliveries.

Tredwell, replacing Finn in the 13thover, scuttled Gambhir’s 42-ball stay. Gambhir’s insistence to play his favourite cut once again proved to be the bane and Bell diving to his left took an excellent catch at point. When Finn trapped Mahendra Singh Dhoni leg before for 15, India were all at sea.

But Raina produced yet another fluent knock under pressure and along with Ravindra Jadeja pulled out a fast sinking India. Their 78-run sixth-wicket stand formed the basis of Indian innings.

Raina, particularly, managed his innings well. Though he got two reprieves it was a neat knock by a player whose hunger for runs is only growing. His two straight sixes bore testimony to his good form. A chip over extra cover got him his 50, his fourth successive in this series.

Jadeja played the ideal second fiddle but nonetheless contributed with two big hits over the ropes. The two battered Samit Patel and could have taken the Indian innings further had they not gifted their wickets. Jadeja came dancing down the track to Tredwell but edged to Bell at point.

Raina shortly followed suit by mistiming a pull off Chris Woakes. In the last ten overs, Bhuvneshwar Kumar scored quickly to catapult India past the 200-mark but it was still a below par score.

score board

INDIA

Gambhir c Bell b Tredwell    24
(42b, 5x4)
Rohit c Tredwell b Bresnan    4
(9b, 1z4)
Kohli c Tredwell b Bresnan    0
(1b)
Yuvraj c Morgan b Finn    0
(3b)
Raina c Bell b Woakes    83
(98b, 8x4, 2x6)
Dhoni lbw Finn    15
(23b, 2x4)
Jadeja c Bell b Tredwell    39
(65b, 1x4, 2x6)
Ashwin c Finn b Patel    19
(21b, 1x4, 1x6)
Bhuvneshwar c Finn b Bresnan    31
(30b, 5x4)
Shami c & b Bresnan    1
(6b)
Ishant (not out)    0
(0b)

Extras (LB-4, W-6)    10

Total (all out, 49.4 overs)    226

Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Rohit), 2-13 (Kohli), 3-24 (Yuvraj), 4-49 (Gambhir) 5-79 (Dhoni) 6-157 (Jadeja), 7-177 (Raina), 8-211 (Ashwin), 9-225 (Bhuvneshwar).

Bowling: Steven Finn 10-2-27-2 (w-1), Tim Bresnan 9.4-1-45-4 (w-3), Woakes 9-1-45-1 (w-1), Tredwell 10-1-25-2 (w-1), Root 5-0-34-0, Patel 6-0-46-1.

Runs during: Power Play1: 1-10 overs: 35/3; Power Play2 (batting): 36-40 overs: 25/1.

ENGLAND

Cook b Ishant    22
(40b, 5x4)
Bell (not out)    113
(143b, 13x4, 1x6)
Pietersen c Jadeja b Shami     6
(12b, 1x4)
Root b Jadeja    31
(49b, 4x4)
Morgan (not out)    40
(40b, 3x6)

Extras (LB-8, W-7)    15

Total (for 3 wkts, 47.2 overs)    227

Fall of wickets: 1-53 (Cook), 2-64 (Pietersen) 3-143 (Root).

Bowling: Bhuvneshwar 9-1-45-0 (w-2), Shami 9-1-46-1 (w-2), Ishant 10-3-37-1, Ashwin 10-0-50-0 (w-2), Yuvraj 2-0-15-0, Jadeja 7.2-0-26-1 (w-1).

Runs during: Power Play1: 1-10 overs: 42/0; Power Play2 (batting): 36-40 overs: 25/1.

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