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Rediff.com  » Cricket » India thrash England by 95 runs to complete whitewash

India thrash England by 95 runs to complete whitewash

Last updated on: October 25, 2011 22:42 IST

Diwali celebrations came a day early for India, as they completed a 5-0 whitewash of England with a crushing 95-run victory in the fifth and final One-day International in Kolkata on Tuesday.

- Scorecard

Chasing India's competitive 272, the visitors had a rollicking start, courtesy skipper Alastair Cook (60) and Craig Keiswetter (63) who put on 129 runs, but lost the plot after their dismissals.

Rookie pacer Varun Aaron provided the breakthrough with a tactical change in line before the Englishmen fell to the Indian spinners' guile and were bundled out for 176 in 37 overs.

The visitors lost all the 10 wickets with addition of just 47 runs, as their weakness against spin was exposed once again.

Left-arm orthodox spinner Ravindra Jadeja was the wrecker-in-chief with a superb four for 33, while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed three for 21.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni may not like to call it 'revenge', but it's definitely redemption time for the World champions, who were demolished in England in both the Test and one-day series.

Put in to bat, India struggled to come to terms on a slow Eden Gardens track before skipper Dhoni unleashed himself with another unbeaten knock, this time a 75 not out off just 69 balls, to lift the team to 271 for eight.

Indian players celebrate after winning the series 5-0Dhoni struck four sixes and three fours during his stay at the crease as India, who were struggling to go past 250 at one stage, plundered 39 runs in the last two overs.

England bowler Steven Finn took two wickets in an over to put India under pressure but the hosts broke the shackles in the slog overs, with 60 coming in the last five, thanks to Dhoni's late burst.

Dhoni thus remained unbeaten in the series in four innings, amassing 212 runs, while Virat Kohli topped the overall charts with 270 runs, at an average of 90.00.

In sharp contrast to India's start, England began their chase on an attacking note that yielded a century stand, their best in the series.

The Indian bowlers put up a sorry face, as both the seamers failed to make an impact.

Cook was at his elegant best, slashing and cutting, while Kieswetter took the charge in a delectable manner.

But the lack of consistency and the inability to apply themselves, which was their undoing in the series, again came to haunt them.

Dhoni did not do any magic, but a small variation, which saw Aaron bowl from round the wicket, did the trick as the Jharkhand pacer went through Cook's defence.

Aaron, who had a fine debut with a three-wicket haul in the last match in Mumbai, was introduced late in the 19th over as Cook looked in a belligerent mood against the rookie pacer.

After being pulled over long leg for a boundary by Cook, Aaron had a discussion with Dhoni, who may have asked him to change his line, and it did the trick.

Danger man Cook departed as Dhoni took the bowling powerplay, something that rattled England's batting line-up.

After that, England's frailty against spin was exposed as they fell like nine-pins.

India claimed four wickets, giving away just 10 runs in the bowling powerplay.

In the team's first outing after winning the World Cup, the stadium, known for its boisterous crowd, responded unusually as it recorded a measly 27,000 turn out, its lowest ever involving the national side.

Just like the dull atmosphere, India had an unexciting start as the new opening duo of Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane took time to settle down.

Back to his opening slot in place of Parthiv Patel, who was replaced by local lad Manoj Tiwary, Gambhir took the risks with odd boundaries while his partner, Ajinkya Rahane, was slow to start with.

India scored 41 runs from the first powerplay even as the new opening duo remained unscathed. The pair survived a couple of anxious moments, even as the English fielders did not show urgency on the field.

Barring Steven Finn, who generated bounce and pace on a slow track, none of the English bowlers looked impressive.

But the visitors bounced back, riding on a superb second spell by Finn, who was reintroduced in the 18th over.

Having put on 80 together, Gambhir (38), opening for the first time in the series, played on to Finn's first ball of the second spell.

The In-form Virat Kohli, who had scored his maiden century in India's last match at the venue two years ago, was deceived by Finn as the youngster showed poor judgement and was bowled for nought.

If Finn took two wickets in his first over of the second spell, strike bowler Tim Bresnan had one in the next over.

Rahane, who scored a match-winning 91 in the third ODI in Mohali, got out to a loose ball as India lost their third wicket in 10 balls with the addition of just one run.

The Mumbai youngster, despite playing some elegant strokes, failed to capitalise on his start, as he was dismissed for 42.

The visitors, however, were not very sharp in the field; Suresh Raina was dropped by Graeme Swann on one, even as India struggled to get a partnership going.

In his first match on home turf, Tiwary scored 24, whie Raina was brilliantly run-out by Ravi Bopara for 38, as India's run rate dipped.

That the hosts hit their first six as late as in the 43rd over, when Dhoni broke the shackles hitting off-spinner Swann, speaks a lot about their struggle on the slow pitch.

Dhoni went on to hit two more sixes in the same over and consolidate the innings.

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