Sehwag stars in India’s win over England in Cuttack (Lead)November 27th, 2008 - 12:29 am ICT by IANS
Cuttack, Nov 26 (IANS) Virender Sehwag struck a sizzling 91 as India stayed on course for a whitewash with a clinical six-wicket victory over England in the fifth One-day International at the Barabati Stadium here Wednesday.Riding on Kevin Pietersen’s unbeaten 111, England scored a challenging 270 but India made light of the target, crossing the victory line with 38 balls to spare and six wickets in hand.
Virender Sehwag scored 91 off 73 balls while Sachin Tendulkar (50), skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (50) and Suresh Raina (53 not out) chipped in to pile agony on the visitors.
India now lead the seven-match series 5-0 and are eyeing to wrap up the remaining ODIs in Guwahati and Delhi against a lacklustre and demoralised England outfit.
Indian batsmen were on the hunt right from the start after Sehwag and Tendulkar forged a 136-run stand in 20 overs. England bowlers could not trouble them and their problems only aggravated with the dew on the ground making it difficult to grip the ball.
Sehwag played in his typical fashion hitting 15 boundaries and one six. Tendulkar took his time before cutting loose with six boundaries. The duo kept the run-rate moving at a brisk pace and laid the foundation of the chase. India’s 50 came in 49 balls and 100 in 14.1 overs.
Sehwag was unfortunate to be be given lbw off Stuart Broad when he was nine short of his century.
Harmison then rattled Tendulkar’s stumps and in-form Yuvraj Singh could score only six before Ravi Bopara dismissed him. But skipper Dhoni and Raina went about the task in a clinical fashion, milking singles and sending the odd ball to the boundary as they added 94 runs.
Raina’s 53 included eight boundaries while Dhoni struck five shots to the ropes.
Earlier, Pietersen scored his first century as captain and was involved in a 112-run stand with Owais Shah (66 not out) to steer England to safety after they were 158 for four.
With the top-order failing to score big knocks, the captain promoted himself up the order to number three and showed the way to other batsmen.
The new opening combination of Ravi Bopara and Alastair Cook did not click as the latter gave his wicket to Zaheer Khan with a drive to point where he was caught by Yuvraj Singh in the sixth over. Zaheer struck again in the 10th over claiming Bopara.
Paul Collingwood (40) and Pietersen then steadied the innings with a 89-run stand.
Pietersen’s seventh hundred came off 119 balls and was studded with 10 boundaries and one six.
Harbhajan Singh removed Collingwood while big-hitting Andrew Flintoff was dismissed by Ishant Sharma. The two quick wickets jolted England but Pietersen found an able partner in Shah whose 57-ball innings had nine boundaries.