Dhoni half-century pushes India to 271 against England at Kolkata

MS Dhoni clobbered four sixes and three boundaries for his 75 not out Getty Images

Kolkata: Oct 25, 2011

India struggled to come to terms on a slow Eden Gardens track before skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni struck a valiant unbeaten half-century to post a challenging 271 for eight in the fifth and final one-day against England.

Riding on Dhoni’s unbeaten 69-ball 75, which was studded with four sixes and three fours, the Indians, who were struggling at one stage, lifted themselves by notching up 39 runs in the last two overs.

There was a time when England bowler Steven Finn took two wickets in one over as India lost three quick wickets to be in tatters.

But the visitors made it up scoring 60 runs in the last five overs, thanks to Dhoni’s late outburst.

Eyeing a 5-0 whitewash, India had a sedate start to the match.

With the usual electrifying atmosphere missing at the Eden, India took time to settle down after they were put into bat by a team, yet to win a match in the series.

Back to his opening slot in place of Parthiv Patel who was replaced by local lad Manoj Tiwary, Gautam Gambhir took the risks with odd boundaries while his partner Ajinkya Rahane was slow to start with.

India could not score more than 41 runs from the first powerplay even as the new opening duo of Gambhir and Rahane remained unscathed.

The duo survived a couple of anxious moments as the English fielders did not show urgency on the field.

Barring Steven Finn who generated bounce and pace on a slow looking track, none of the English bowlers looked impressive.

But the visitors bounced back, riding on a superb second spell by Finn who was reintroduced in the 18th over.

Having put on 80 together, Gambhir (38, 46b, 4×4), first time playing as an opener in the series, played on to Finn’s first ball of the second spell. (PTI)

Brief Scores: India 271 or 8 in 50 overs (MS Dhoni 75*, Ajinkya Rahane 42, Gautam Gambhir 36, Suresh Raina 36; Samit Patel 3 for 57, Steve Finn 2 for 47) vs England

Full Scorecard