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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Bell, Bresnan lift England to easy victory in Dharamsala

Bell, Bresnan lift England to easy victory in Dharamsala

Last updated on: January 27, 2013 17:49 IST

India paid the price for some poor shot selection by their top order batsmen as England rode on Ian Bell's unbeaten century to salvage some pride by winning the fifth and final One-Day International by seven wickets in Dharamsala, 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 picturesque HPCA stadium which hosted its first international match.

- Scorecard

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 oder batsmen and could never really recover from the early jolts despite Suresh Raina's brilliant knock of 83 under pressure.

Tim Bresnan caused the bulk of the damage as he claimed four for 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 with some of them playing atrocious shots.

Ian BellRaina's brilliant counter-attacking 83 off 98 balls and some useful contributions from Ravindra Jadeja (39) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (31) took India to 226.

In their bid to chase down the target of 227, England openers Alastair Cook and Ian Bell started confidently adding 53 runs before Ishant Sharma, who bowled an incisive first spell, broke the partnership.

Ishant was brilliant in his first spell as he found the right line and length from his very first delivery which came in after pitching as Cook was beaten and there was an appeal for caught behind which was rightly turned down by the umpire as the ball had struck the top of the front pad.

The England captain was on 22 before another delivery cut back sharply to knock the middle-stump back.

Ishant's brilliant first spell figures read 5-3-9-1 to help India make the crucial first breakthrough.

Bengal pacer Shami Ahmed crippled England further with the wicket of the dangerous Kevin Pietersen for six, who top-edged a pull shot and Ravindra Jadeja, running to his left from midwicket completed a well-judged catch.

Bell, who started off in streaky fashion, gained in confidence with every passing over. He guided the talented Joe Root as the duo cruised along in their 79-run third wicket stand.

Root was finally dismissed when he tried to slog sweep Jadeja but missed and was bowled for a good knock of 31 off 49 balls.

Bell reached the 90s with a reverse sweep off Ravichandran Ashwin, who was trying too many variations without much success and went for 50 runs in his ten overs. 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.

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, to help Indian total gain a semblance of respectability.

Jadeja's contribution was 39 off 65 balls with a boundary and two sixes. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also did his bit by playing a little cameo of 31 runs with the help of few boundaries in the closing overs.

Raina, who was dropped twice on individual scores of five and 61, hit eight boundaries and two huge sixes, while also completing 4000 ODI runs in his 159th match.

Bresnan was the pick of bowlers with figures of four for 45 while their premier fast bowler Steven Finn was miserly giving away 28 runs in 10 overs getting a couple of wickets in the process.

Photograph: BCCI