England v India, 5th ODI, Cardiff September 16, 2011

Bairstow blasts England home on debut


England 241 for 4 (Trott 63, Cook 50, Bairstow 41*) beat India 304 for 6 (Kohli 107, Dravid 69) by six wickets (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Not even India's first 300-plus total in 14 attempts against England could prove sufficient to win their first international fixture of a desperately one-sided tour, as the 21-year-old Yorkshire batsman Jonny Bairstow marked his international debut with a nerveless display of power-hitting under the floodlights at Cardiff. Chasing a revised target of 241 in 34 overs after a sequence of Duckworth-Lewis readjustments, Bairstow battered an extraordinary 41 from 21 balls, as England eased home with 10 balls to spare.

In a breathless performance, Bairstow struck the fifth ball of his international career for six over midwicket, and added two more and a four for good measure, as England marched up the mountain to complete their third victory of the series and their eighth in ten international matches against India this summer.

The denouement stole the thunder from Virat Kohli's excellent 107 from 93, and also overshadowed the final ODI match of Rahul Dravid's 344-match career. He signed off with 69 from 79 balls, and a handshake from every England player, but as had been the case all summer, he was powerless to stop a team on the rampage.

Such a dramatic turn of events had seemed unlikely at the halfway mark of the day, which was reached amid similar pyrotechnics, as India's captain, MS Dhoni, slammed an even 50 from 26 balls to haul his team to an imposing total of 304 for 6. It was four runs more than they had managed in their final innings of the Test series, at The Oval back in August, and when two untimely rain-showers lopped 10 overs and only 34 runs off the chase, England's task appeared to have been made all the more awkward.

But they approached their task with confidence from the outset. In damp conditions, but on a still firm deck, Craig Kieswetter struck four fours in his first 12 balls to motor along to 21 from 17, before he was adjudged lbw a delivery that looked to be sliding past leg stump, while Alastair Cook provided the ballast once again, skitting along to 50 from 54 balls to set England up for their late push.

Another rain delay in the tenth over forced another D/L readjustment, but not before the newly-crowned ICC Cricketer of the Year, Jonathan Trott, had slammed Munaf Patel straight back down towards the River Taff for the first six of his ODI career. Cook reached his fifty in a frenetic over from Kohli, which included - in consecutive deliveries - a reverse lap for four, a terrible dropped catch at backward square from Dravid, and a mow across the line that led to Cook's middle stump being pegged back.

Trott might already have been caught at mid-off had Munaf not overstepped, and Munaf's evening got even worse when he slipped in the outfield and limped off with a twisted ankle. But Trott by now was getting into the mood, and with Ian Bell alongside him, he laid into the left-arm spin of Ravindra Jadeja, who was smacked for 1, 6, 1, 6, 1, 6 in a single over that went for 21 and catapulted England ahead of the D/L requirement.

The two men fell in consecutive overs - Bell holed out to long-off against RP Singh, before Jadeja gained a measure of revenge by removing Trott who slapped to point - but Bairstow's arrival provided the carefree attitude that the situation required. At first, Ravi Bopara was unable to break the shackles to quite the same extent, but found his range as the target drew nearer, slogging RP Singh over deep fine leg for a top-edged six as he closed his series on 34 not out from 20 balls.

After winning the toss for the fifth match in a row, Cook's decision to bowl first was influenced by the prospect of showers and evening dew, but England struggled for breakthroughs at the outset. Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane added 52 for the first wicket, and though Steven Finn kept the Powerplays in check with an excellent first spell of seven overs for 22, England's fielding became notably ragged at key moments of the innings. Samit Patel dropped two bad catches, one at third man off Rahane to deny Finn a deserved early wicket, and England were once again indebted to the spin of Graeme Swann, who returned figures of 3 for 34 in nine overs to prevent the run-rate from getting completely out of hand.

It was Dravid and Kohli who turned on the style, slowly at first but with increasing poise as their partnership mounted. Jade Dernbach's sixth over was dispatched for 15 as Kohli's strong wrists and superb timing plundered his variations, before Patel was battered out of the attack with two fours over midwicket and a massive spring-loaded six over long-off. Though he slowed his tempo with his hundred in sight, he eventually turned Swann through square leg for a single to bring up his landmark from 87 deliveries, and was celebrating with jubilation before he had even completed the run.

One delivery later, Dravid's ODI career was brought to an end as Swann tweaked one through his gate and into the top of off stump, and when Kohli trod on his own stumps while working a single through square leg, England had prised themselves an opening that Dhoni - the eventual Man of the Series - did his utmost to slam shut. But India's defence was hampered by the absence of Praveen Kumar, who twisted his ankle while playing football in the warm-up, and without Munaf at the death, they simply had no answer to Bairstow's brilliant onslaught.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Martin on September 19, 2011, 22:20 GMT

    @CandidIndian - I think the problem, if I might say so - is not your comments, which are always valid and reasonable. Like you, many indian fans give valuable insights into their team and teams perfomances here - which is why we all like cricinfo so much.The problem is that there has been a lot of outrageous crowing, really ridiculous stuff on here and it has been driving a few of us dotty reading it. So - if my comments read as if they are "bashing" - actually they are - but I'm bashing back at the outrageous and ridiculous stuff. A lot of other people bash back too. It's fun - sure (sometimes!), and no offence is intended :-) My worry - which I expressed throughout, is whether India is going to go on with an obsession for T20, etc, and thus become lost as a Test playing nation. This would be a DISASTER for World Cricket and must not be allowed to happen. I have experienced Test cricket in India and have seen the passion first hand.

  • Samuel on September 19, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    Someone somewhere on this long list of comment who seemed intent on criticising England actually hit on something - Bresnan's form. Doesn't seem to have been mentioned much, but he looks a shadow of his test self with the white ball in his hand. I know his batting has, can and will come in useful in the future, but he's getting slapped around too much. Keep Finn in the side instead, give him games, get overs in his legs, and then unleash him into the test side in time to compete with Dale Steyn for fastest ball next summer!

  • Benn on September 19, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    @Kritika Prasad.... bit like all the Indian fans who flooded the Ashes comments last winter saying how the series was devalued because neither Australia or England were the world's top-ranked side.

  • Naresh on September 19, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    Unearthing a good pace bowler in the immiediate term for India is probably not possible. However our best bowlers at the moment are "Zaheer, Nehra, Ishant and Sreesanth" Why not work on " Pankaj singh , Irfan Pathan, Dinda, Varun, and Yadav" I feel the may reason the bowling lacked anything was due to the lack of a good left arm pacer. When Zaheer got injured India should have settled for Nehra - another left armer. India has lots of talented left arm bowlers who are probably better than our right armers. Our bowling attack was all right armers. Also our spinners would be effective if the pacers are letting ENgland off. Another problem we had was dropped catches which buried us. In this respect I agree with some of the comments that we need youngsters who wont drop catches like some of the seniors.

  • Dummy4 on September 19, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    I have no issues with English fans over here! But why are Pakistanis so much interested? Haven't got anything better to do or can't get enough of Indian Cricket! *Wonder Wonder* !:D

  • John on September 19, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    Watching Aussie bowlers struggle against Sri Lanka without their top seamer, I guess this is India's chance to win a test series against Australia. I mean Copeland = Praveen Kumar (military medium), Mitch Johnson = Ishant Sharma (rhythm bowler). Zaheer = Ryan Harris (more times injured than healthy). LOL, both bowling units pretty much cancel each other but a healthy Indian batting lineup > a healthry Aussie batting lineup. Interesting series coming up in Dec. We'll see if BCCI has learned anything from this disaster of a tour.

  • Milind on September 19, 2011, 2:26 GMT

    India did not prepare well enough for this tour, and paid a big price. Eng were not to be taken lightly, as they had won the Ashes and were playing at home. An experienced team like India should have done better.

  • Gaurav on September 19, 2011, 0:31 GMT

    5wombats and Valavan-Just to clear the fog,there are many cricket fans in India who in-spite of supporting their team are ready to accept defeats and face reality in much more matured manner.Many of us are aware of weaknesses like Obsession of BCCI and players with IPL ,lack of intent in finding pace bowlers and lack of proper planning to win outside subcontinent.Having said that i appreciate Eng exposed Indian team in WC by almost chasing down 340 and making Indian team realize that it wont be a fairy tale run for them which helped India in long run to win the prestigious tournament ,same way they exposed India badly here and i hope the inevitable changes which BCCI was avoiding will come as many of us Indian fans were hoping.However as we know this is not an end of Indian cricket either,like England cricket didnt end after losing to SA,India, Aus and then WI before they returned on winning ways and achieved no 1 ranking.Success can be celebrated without bashing others mates,thanks.

  • Frazer on September 18, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    4 test wins + 1 T20 win + 3 ODI wins + 1 rained off + 1 tie=10 international games for India without a win. (plus first-class games Somerset and Norhants dominated). I have to admit injuies and weather hindered the Indian (esp. in ODI's)but what a fantastic performance by England. I refrained from commenting at the start (i think) but all who said India would win were very very wrong. Now to win in sub continent and v SA to prove to everyone we are undisputed No. 1

  • sachin on September 18, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    Two bad teams were swept this month; INDIA and Zimbabwe. Everything is still normal in the cricket world

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