England defeated India by six wickets in a rain-affected match here on Friday to complete a 3-0 one-day series victory over the reigning world champions. India looked to have posted a formidable total after piling up 304-6 off their 50 overs, with Virat Kohli lashing a superb century and veteran Rahul Dravid contributing 69 in his farewell one-dayer.
England's Jonny Bairstow lofts the ball during the fifth ODI
against India in Cardiff on Friday. Pic/Getty Images
But rain left England with a revised Duckworth-Lewis victory target of 270 off 40 overs, which was later reduced to 241 to win after further interruption. England captain Alastair Cook (50) and number three Jonathan Trott (63) anchored the home sides run chase, before debutant Jonathan Bairstow blasted a dazzling unbeaten 41 off 29 balls with Ravi Bopara scoring 37 not out.
England eventually finished on 241 for four off 32.2 overs for victory by six wickets as India's hopes of salvaging a win from their miserable summer, which also included a 4-0 Test series whitewash, were dashed. "To remain unbeaten in this one-day series is a huge fillip to our side and it's a fantastic effort by the lads," England skipper Cook said, paying tribute to the performance of man-of-the-match Bairstow.
Bairstow was ecstatic at his promising debut. "To start off like this is a dream-come-true really," said Bairstow, who had received his cap from fellow Yorkshireman Geoffrey Boycott earlier on Friday. "He just said relax and enjoy it and that's what I tried to do. It's a positive outcome for the side and the boys have played really well throughout the series."
Before rain tilted the game in England's favour, India had looked to have given themselves an excellent chance of finishing the tour with a win courtesy of Kohli's sixth career ton. Dravid, playing his 344th and final one-day international, weighed in with a valuable 69 off 79 balls before being bowled by Graeme Swann.
India piled on the agony for England's bowlers late on, with skipper MS Dhoni scoring 50 off just 26 balls as the tourists left the home side with a challenging target. India had a lucky escape early in the innings, when Ajinkya Rahane's thick outside edge flew straight to Samit Patel at third man only for the Nottinghamshire all-rounder to spill a straightforward catch.
Yet England did not have long to wait for the breakthrough, Jade Dernbach tempting Rahane into a mis-hit flick which was brilliantly caught by Steven Finn running in from the boundary to leave India 52-1. Rahane's departure heralded the arrival at the crease of Dravid, who received a stirring ovation in his farewell match.
However India were soon in trouble as Parthiv Patel holed out to mid-on in Swann's first over as England kept the brakes on the touring side's run rate. Yet the entrance of Kohli swung the match back in India's favour, with the talented 22-year-old flaying England's attack to all corners of the ground in a knock which included eight boundaries and one six.