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Cricket | International

Bell, Bresnan ensure consolation win



An undefeated 113 from England's Ian Bell set up a consolation seven-wicket win for the visitors on Sunday in the fifth and final one-day international against India at the latest addition to India's international venues - the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, which lies at the bottom of the snow-capped Himalayas in the picturesque hill resort of Dharamsala.

Full Scorecard: India v England

England never seemed in trouble as they looked to end their tour an a positive note and take some confidence on to their next destination, New Zealand.

Even though they lost Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen within the space of 11 runs, Bell kept a cool head as he and Joe Root set about resuming the chase.

A stand of 79 runs came to an abrupt end when Root went for an out-of-character cross-batted swipe off Ravindra Jadeja, missed and was castled for a well-played 31 runs.

India sensed their opportunity when Eoin Morgan - who's been having a lean time with the bat - walked in, but the batsmen kept the scoreboard turning over with well-judged singles.

Needing 60 off the final 10 overs, Bell and Morgan upped their pace. The former brought up his third limited-overs century when he drove a leg-side full toss from Ishant Sharma through the on side for four.

Morgan (40 off 40 balls) celebrated a welcome return to form with three sixes in two overs and Man-of-the-Match, Bell finished it off in the 48th over with a comfortable single.

His innings lasted 143 deliveries and included 13 fours and one maximum.

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Earlier, India's Suresh Raina scored 83 runs to help the hosts recover from a precarious 78 for five, to post a credible 226 and keep the visitors' hopes alive of ending the series 4-1 up.

Opting to field, England had the hosts in a spot of bother as early as the fourth over, when Tim Bresnan induced one of the heroes of the fourth match, Rohit Sharma, to drive loosely outside off, offering a simple catch to James Tredwell at second slip.

Tredwell was in business again the very next delivery as Virat Kohli drove Bresnan in an action-replay to the right of the fast bowler who juggled a few times, but finally held onto the ball.

Yuvraj Singh survived the hat-trick delivery, but fell three overs later as he got a leading edge off Steven Finn to Eoin Morgan for a duck.

In strolled Raina, only to watch Gautam Gambhir and Mahendra Singh Dhoni trundle back to the pavilion, having consumed all of 14 overs for 50 added runs, before he found an ally in Jadeja.

The pair added a welcome 78 runs for the sixth wicket, but Tredwell put an end to their plans when Jadeja (39) charged down the track, got an outside edge to the turning ball and was caught at point.

As is the case with most major partnerships, when the one goes, the other partner - Raina in this case - follows soon, but Raina's 98-ball innings enabled the lower order to play with more freedom and aim for a defendable total.

Buvneshwar Kumar joined Ravichandran Ashwin, and they moved the score past 200.

Kumar - who sports a first-class century - hit a little cameo of 31 off only 30 deliveries, but Bresnan ended the innings swiftly in the final over as he first removed Kumar and then Shami Ahmed with two balls spare, to finish with 4-45.

Cook was happy with the win. "It was a good toss to win, but our bowlers bowled really well. Bresnan and Finn got early breakthroughs today.

"Our top four got runs and Bell played a fantastic knock. The pitch was doing something all day, so it was important to stick around with wickets in hand, it is important with the new regulations.

"We have good positives to take from this series. It has been a fantastic three months in India."

Man of the Series, Raina, was glad for the opportunities he got. "When we came to this series, we had lost to Pakistan and England in Tests, so this win has been good.

"Today we were probably 20-30 runs short, but still we batted well in this series. When you bat 6, 7 you don't get many opportunities, but this series, our top order didn't get runs, so I got time in the middle."

INDIA: G Gambhir, RG Sharma, V Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, SK Raina, MS Dhoni (capt & wk), RA Jadeja, R Ashwin, B Kumar, I Sharma, Shami Ahmed

ENGLAND: AN Cook (capt), IR Bell, KP Pietersen, JE Root, EJG Morgan, JC Buttler (wk), SR Patel, CR Woakes, JC Tredwell, ST Finn, TT Bresnan

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