there it is, a low full toss is clipped easily away, and England win
So, England take the one-day series 3-0, and the curtains are drawn on a winless tour for India. With this win, England and India swap positions on the ICC's ODI tables, England taking 4th while the visitors are knocked down to 5th. Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott did the early work, but Bopara was at hand at the end to see them home - as he just failed to do at Lord's. This run chase will be remembered for Bairstow's stunning debut knock, however, as he showed a calm head and tremendous hitting power in his 21-ball 41.
India had more than held their own with the bat, Virat Kohli's century ensuring his team's highest total of the tour. With this bowling attack, the runs simply weren't enough. Dravid also showed that he remains a classy performer even as he brings his ODI career to an end, and he is fittingly the man to lead the team off the field to appreciative applause. Stick with us for the presentations.
"Finally the nightmare is over," whimpers Pinal.
Debutant Jonny Bairstow is Man of the Match. "I got the call yesterday. To start off like this is a dream come true, really. I just wanted to enjoy it and experience it, and hopefully I can push on from here. My one-day cricket before this year wasn't great, but i've been pleased with how I've gone for Yorkshire this year. With the injuries we've got, there are opportunities in the England team at the moment." What a well-spoken 21-year-old he is.
MS Dhoni is, of course, the Player of the Series. "I think in quite a few games this happened, but we can't control the weather. The big blow tonight was losing Munaf, as he's our bowler at the death. These were difficult condittions, but good exposure [for players like Vinay Kumar]. These are the players who have been playing in the ODI format for the last six months, and many of them are the future. Definitely we need to manage these injuries. We've lost so many players on this tour."
"To remain unbeaten in this one-day series is a fantastic effort by the lads," says a beaming Alastair Cook. "It's all about developing these young players, giving them a chance at international level, and there are some good signs for the future. This is the start of a journey. I know how hungry the lads are, to play as well as we have done to chase that target has been very satisfying. I'm really excited about the challenge of the winter tours." As are we all, Alastair.
And that brings our coverage of the final ODI to a close. If you'd like to catch up with today's action, do have a look at Andrew Miller's report. We've also got a rather flash gallery for your enjoyment. Finally, a big thank you to everyone who's tuned in to our coverage throughout India's tour. It's been thoroughly enjoyable covering the games - despite the machinations of the weather - and great having you along for the ride. Until next time, goodbye.
"Time for some hard decisions perhaps?" asks Ram. "Hopefully, the BCCI does not say everything is ok, we just had one bad series. Hard Luck to India. Kudos England. Rahul Dravid..sigh, as usual hard luck man, thanks for all the great knocks in limited overs."
short and hooked by Bopara, the ball flies down to long leg but drops short of the fielder
driven to long on, and England now need just three runs to win
swept down to long leg
carrom ball from Ashwin, but Bairstow appears to pick it, playing back and defending to leg
two more to the total, more really good running as the ball is simply driven into the leg side
Ashwin's white flannel falls out of the top of his trousers as he bowls, but Bopara isn't distracted, cutting the arm ball out to deep point
a scooped chip rolls out to wide long on
The game has turned completely. It was touch-and-go when the powerplay was taken, but it's all England's now.
tapped into space on the leg side, and again, how is this two runs?
nudged off the toes for a single
England are cruising now. Bopara lifts a leg-stump half-volley over wide midwicket ... and just over the fielder there! Four runs
nudged away for a quiet single to follow that up
drilled down the ground, and they're back for the second
that's out of the ground again! Bairstow is a fierce hitter of a cricket ball. This was full and straight and Bairstow - who has shades of Kevin O'Brien (and I don't just mean his hair colour) - just scythed through the line. The ball simply disappeared into the night sky, never to be seen again. Out comes the fourth umpire with a box of balls!
four more! Again Bopara utilises the paddle to fine leg, this time hitting the ball along the ground and past the fielder inside the circle. RP offers the batsman a few choice words, but it's a bit pointless as the batsman has easily come out on top in this encounter
a top edge flies for six! Bopara walked into a premeditated paddle with the field set as it is, the ball slipped out as a full toss and he couldn't control the shot, but got enough on it to get it over the short boundary
first real mis-hit from Bairstow. It was a full toss and there to be hit, but the ball connected high on the bat and lobbed into space at midwicket
Third man and fine leg are inside the circle.
intelligent bowling from RP! Bairstow had stepped well away to leg and the bowler fired down a yorker wide of off stump on the other side, the ball slipping under the bat
hacked into the leg side, just the single
inside edged! Bopara walked out at an RP full toss, getting a thin inside edge on it. The bal went straight back, however, and was easily stopped by Dhoni
RP Singh will share powerplay duties.
|Sophia Gardens, Cardiff|
|Toss||England, elected to field first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Player Of The Series|
|Series result||England won the 5-match series 3-0|
|Match number||ODI no. 3195|
|Hours of play (local time)||14.40 start, First Session 14.40-18.10, Interval 18.10-18.45, Second Session 18.45-22.15|
|Match days||16 September 2011 - daynight (50-over match)|