Raina, Dhoni power India to 280

Suresh Raina clobbered seven boundaries and two sixes in his knock of 84 Getty Images

London: Sep 11, 2011

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina led a superb Indian fightback with brilliant half centuries as the visitors posted a competitive 280 for five in their fourth cricket One-Dayer against England.

Put into bat, India were wobbling at 110 for four in the 26th over but Dhoni (78 not out) and Raina (84) resurrected the Indian innings by sharing 169 runs for the fifth wicket from 23.5 overs to give their side a defendable total, the highest in the ODI series so far.

The duo ensured that no wicket fell till the last over and they made England bowlers looked like pedestrian by raining four and sixes towards the end of their innings after India took the batting powerplay in the 43rd over.

Raina was out for 84 in the last over after facing 74 balls which had seven fours and two sixes while Dhoni’s unbeaten 78 came from 71 balls which had six fours and three sixes. India scored 109 runs from the last 10 overs.

Openers Parthiv Patel (27) and Ajinkya Rahane (38) began cautiously with Steven Finn and James Anderson extracting bounce and movement from the Lord’s pitch before they opened up after the mandatory powerplay.

Parthiv hit Anderson for a six and four in the seventh over while Rahane gave the same treatment to Finn with two fours in the next.

Finn was extracting lots of pace from the pitch with some of his deliveries touching 150km per hour but Rahane was not deterred by it as he punished the paceman for a six and two fours after England took bowling powerplay.

Rahane, who hit a half century in the third ODI, was soon out with Stuart Broad striking in his first over, the 14th of Indian innings. Rahane was out LBW after facing 53 balls from which he hit five fours and a one six.

India suffered another blow two overs later with Parthiv out to Broad again with Bopara taking a fine catch at the midwicket and India were 70 for two in the 16th over.

Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli tried to consolidate the innings, batting sensibly and without taking much risk as they took India to 109 for two at the halfway mark.

Just as India were getting back into the match, the good work was undone with both Kohli and Dravid falling in the space of four balls in the 26th over with off-spinner Graeme Swann getting rid of them in his first over.

Kohli unnecessarily dabbed late against the turn and got the edge through to wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter. His 16 came from 36 balls which had just one four.

Three balls later, Dravid was caught and bowled as he pushed a fullish delivery in the air for Swann to take a sharp low catch forward. Dravid made 19 from 33 balls with the help of three fours.

It was then left to Dhoni and Raina to build the innings and the duo did it in superb fashion. They shunned any extravagant shot, taking runs in singles and from the 22nd to 35th over there was just one four with Swann’s figure reading 2/15 from his first six overs.

But once the innings crossed 35th over, Dhoni and Raina opened up their arms. Raina hit Finn for two consecutive fours and then Dhoni launched a Swann delivery for a huge six to take Indian score to 171 for four at the end of 40th over.

India took batting powerplay in the 43rd over and after that it rained fours and sixes. Anderson bled 18 runs in the 44th over and Broad was hit for 13 runs in the 46th over.

Raina punished both the bowlers for a six each.

Dhoni hit Swann for a six and four and then punished Broad for maximum result while Raina gave the same treatment to Anderson with consecutive fours before he was out to Finn. (PTI)

Brief Scores: India 280 for 5 in 50 overs (Suresh Raina 84, MS Dhoni 78*, Ajinkya Rahane 38; Graeme Swann 2 for 49) vs England.

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