Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina dodged a top-order collapse to guide India to a six-wicket win in the fourth ODI against England here at Wankhede Stadium yesterday. The duo came together with India struggling at 46-3 in pursuit of 221 on a wicket that helped England's pacemen extract extra bounce, contrary to how it behaved when India's spinners enjoyed the ball keeping low in the afternoon.
Two good: India middle-order uu batsman Virat Kohli (right) congratulates
Suresh Raina on reaching his 50 in the fourth ODI against England at
Wankhede yesterday. Pic/ Suresh KK
Kohli and Raina combined for 133 off just 119 balls, but not before displaying loads of maturity. They took nine overs to add the initial 50 of the stand before unleashing on England spinners Stuart Borthwick and Samit Patel, finding the fence at will. The period between overs 21 and 30 saw them plunder 64 runs -- ending all hopes of a comeback from Alastair Cook's men. Raina looked set for a fourth career hundred until his abrupt heave through the on-side saw his stumps dislodged by Steve Finn. India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kohli steered the side home with 59 balls to spare.
Local boy Ajinkya Rahane defied the early storm with a patient 20 until debutant Stuart Meaker had him spectacularly caught-behind by Craig Kieswetter. At the stage, the body language of England's fielders was that of a side poised to end their 17-game winless streak against India (in India). However, they ran into the firm duo of Kohli and Raina that kept intact India's crack at whitewashing the bitter rivals.
Earlier, the initial phase of England's batting was like a typical Virender Sehwag innings. Their first four scoring shots read: 4, 6, 4 & 4 with both Kieswetter and Cook enjoying the short square boundaries and lightning fast outfield.
With Vinay Kumar hit out of the attack, R Ashwin was introduced in just the sixth over, a move that paid off, as the offie had Cook trapped LBW with one that straightened. The next over saw Praveen Kumar trap Kieswetter leg-before with a ball that kept slightly low. Thereafter, South Africans Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott built a 73-run stand that was broken by Vinay Kumar on his return.
As the innings progressed, the pitch got slower and lower. Once that happened, the English batsmen failed to rotate the strike with proficiency. This led to frustration in the 27th over when Pietersen holed out off Ashwin to deep midwicket where substitute Manoj Tiwary took a splendid catch diving to his right. Pietersen refused to leave the ground until replays convinced him of a clean catch.
Ravindra Jadeja removed Ravi Bopara and John Bairstow in quick succession as England were left reeling at 145-6. The ball that got Bairstow out pitched in middle and clipped off -- leaving the young Yorkshireman shocked! This was followed by a 47-run stand between Patel and Bresnan until the former's attempt at a slog-sweep off Ashwin presented a simple catch to Kohli at the midwicket fence. Bresnan went on to top-score with 45 until India debutant Varun Aaron struck timber for a third time.
Brief Scores: England 220 all out in 46.1 overs (Tim Bresnan 45, Kevin Pietersen 41, Varun Aaron 3/24, R Ashwin 3/38) lost to India 223 for 4 in 40.1 overs (Virat Kohli 86, Suresh Raina 80; Steven Finn 3/45) by 6 wkts
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