England finish series on high
22nd January 2017
England has something to smile for, at last. The wounds of the loss in the T20 final here got some balm as they beat India by 5 runs in the last ODI, though the hosts pocketed the series 2-1.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to field, a decision that came to haunt him later. Batting became difficult in the second essay and the ball also moved about a bit more as the sun set beyond the western gallery.
The Indian batsmen all got starts but failed to convert them into scores that are needed to win a game. It was a later surge from Kedar Jhadav that almost took the team over the ropes, but as mentioned almost.
Chasing 322 to win, India almost rode on Kedar Jadhav's brilliant 90 off just 75 balls along with Hardik Pandya's career-best score of 56 off 43 balls which saw a match-winning 104-run sixth wicket stand off just 83 balls.
But with 16 runs remaining in the last over, Jadhav hit a six and a four off the first two balls to give 56,770 odd crowd some hope but fell to Chris Woakes eventually.
Earlier, England batsmen braved regular break-throughs by Indian bowlers to post 321/8 in their innings. India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and put the visitors in to bat. Hardik Pandya (3/49) and Ravindra Jadeja (2/62) took wickets at important junctures but England batsmen still managed to put up a strong total.
Jadeja broke the opening stand of 98 runs between Jason Roy (65) and Sam Billings (35). Pandya snapped the third wicket partnership between Eoin Morgan (43) and Jonny Bairstow (56) to keep the visitors' run-flow in check.
But a late flurry from in-form all-rounder Ben Stokes (57), with Chris Woakes (35) for company, helped England cross the 300-run mark. Engand scored 58 runs in the last five overs to finish strongly. The seventh-wicket partnership of Stokes and Woakes compiled 73 runs.
CAB MEDIA DESK