India have won the 5-match Royal London ODI Series 2014 against England with a crushing 9-wicket win in the fourth ODI at Edgbaston in Birmingham. The visitors are now a win away from clean sweeping the series 4-0. Once again it was the poor English batting that paved way for an easy victory for India which came with as many as 117 balls to spare once the hosts were bundled out for 206.
Above photo: India’s Ajinkya Rahane celebrates reaching his century during the fourth One-Day International (ODI) cricket match between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, central England, on September 2, 2014. Photo Credit: AFP PHOTO /PAUL ELLIS
Bowling first once again after winning the toss, India got off to a dream start from Bhuvneshwar Kumar who bowled three maidens on the trot. Besides that, Bhuvneshwar Kumar had Alex Hales clean bowled to a big banana inswinger in the 5th over. In the same over, he had Alastair Cook play a flashy cut to the diving Suresh Raina at short gully.
Gary Ballance who got his first game in the series looked in great touch until he got a leading edge to his flick off Mohammed Shami to covers in the 8th over to leave England in an early mess at 23 for 3. Eoin Morgan finally got going but got himself out glancing Ravindra Jadeja into the hands of Suresh Raina at leg slip having made 32 from 58 balls. Morgan added 80 runs for the 4th wicket with Joe Root to lay the foundation for the hosts.
England went on to lose another set batsman Joe Root who was caught at short thirdman playing a reverse sweep. Root scored 44 from 81 balls and his exit left England at 114 for 5 in the 33rd over. Mohammed Shami put England into further trouble when his pacy indipper had Jos Buttler lbw for 11. England out of nowhere got a superb counter attacking knock from Moeen Ali who smashed 67 from 50 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes as the pitch started to ease for batting. Moeen Ali’s important wicket was claimed by R Ashwin after the right hander stepped out for a slog and got bowled in the 47th over.
England were bowled out in the final over with Mohammed Shami coming up with impressive figures of 7.3-1-28-3. All the hard work was done with the new ball by Bhuvneshwar Kumar who had figures of 8-3-14-2. Ravindra Jadeja collected 2 for 40 in his 10 overs while R Ashwin and Suresh Raina got a wicket each. Debutant pacer Dhawal Kulkarni who replaced the injured Mohit Sharma was just average with 0 for 35 in his 7 overs.
Above photo: BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 02: Shikhar Dhawan of India hits out for six runs during the 4th Royal London One Day International match between England and India at Edgbaston on September 2, 2014 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
The run chase for India was all over in just the 31st over with the openers Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan putting up 183 for the 1st wicket. Ajinkya Rahane showed that he could be very destructive by striking 4 sixes and 10 fours in what was his maiden ODI century. Rahane scored 106 from 100 balls before getting out to a rank bad full toss from Harry Gunrey. Shikhar Dhawan regained his form scoring an unbeaten 97 from 81 balls with 11 fours and 4 sixes while Virat Kohli was content at remaining unbeaten on 1 from 3 balls. Rahane as expected got the Man of the Match award.