Sunday, January 27, 2013

5th ODI, Dharamsala:India vs England

India vs England 5th ODI
India vs England - Sports Jagat
A swashbuckling knock by Suresh Raina helped India reach a decent total of 226 in the fifth and final cricket ODI against England after an inept batting performance by the top-order batsmen in bowling friendly conditions on Sunday.

Put into bat in conditions helpful for seam bowling, India were 79 for five before Raina (83) led a recovery act before the home team folded for 226 in 49.4 overs at the picturesque HPCA Stadium.

Raina, whose knock came off 98 balls, added 78 runs for the sixth wicket with Ravindra Jadeja, to help the 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 playing a little cameo of 31 runs that helped India cross the 225-run mark which had looked improbable after the first 15 overs.

But it was Raina whose innings ensured that the likes of Bhuvneshwar and Shami Ahmed have a total to bowl at.

En route his fourth successive half-century in the series, the left-hander from UP made a strong case for himself being promoted up the order ahead of Yuvraj Singh whose form has been scratchy of late. Raina, who was dropped twice on individual scores of 5 and 61, hit eight boundaries and two huge sixes. He, incidentally, also completed 4000 ODI runs in his 159th ODI appearance.

Save those couple of blemishes, it was a treat to watch his stroke play as the ball raced past the lightning quick outfield. Tim 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.

For India, the slide started in the fourth over when Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli got out in an identical fashion off successive deliveries from Bresnan. Bresnan bowled two fuller deliveries with a hint of away movement.

Both Sharma and Kohli went for cover drives without getting to the pitch of the deliveries and resultant thick edges flew to James Tredwell at second slip on both occasions.

While in case of Sharma, the off-spinner dived to his right to pull off an impressive catch, he did a fumble a bit before holding onto the catch offered by Kohli. The two batsmen were out for 4 and 0 respectively.

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh - Sports Jagat
Yuvraj Singh made a mess of an innocuous delivery from Finn which he thought would bounce but didn't get above the knee roll as the left-hander closed the face of his bat. The leading edge was a simple catch to Eoin Morgan at point.

The stage was set for Gautam Gambhir to make amends for his poor show in recent times and he did start off well with a boundary off Steven Finn.

During his 42-ball stay at the crease, he displayed two extremes. He looked ill at ease and circumspect whenever the lanky Finn banged it short but played two majestic shots off Bresnan -- a cover drive followed by a straight drive past the bowler.

The senior opener should have carried on but on 24 he failed to dispatch a rank long hop from Tredwell. It was short and Gambhir played the square cut which lobbed to Ian Bell at point.

At 49 for four, skipper Dhoni walked in and looked in good touch as he got a couple of boundaries with firm pushes through the cover region but got a raw deal when he was adjudged leg before by Steve Davis for 15. He stretched forward and the decision looked a dubious one.

At 79 for five, Jadeja joined Raina and the two in-form players started the damage control.

The best part about their partnership was that they never got bogged down despite the top half being polished off by the English bowlers.

The spinners Tredwell, Joe Root and Samit Patel were attacked with equal vigour.

Both Raina and Jadeja hit two sixes each but the best part was all were straight hits into the sightscreen. Raina completed his 50 with an inside out shot over extra cover off Root's bowling.

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